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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-09956: Fulton MacGregor (Coatbridge and Chryston)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 26 June 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what progress it has made in implementing the recommendations in the HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland report, Audit and Assurance Review of the use of the Facial Search functionality within the UK Police National Database (PND) by Police Scotland.

Answered by: Michael Matheson 27 June 2017

The Scottish Government has established an independent advisory group to provide recommendations on a policy and legislative framework for police use of biometric data and associated technologies, and rules around retention. I am delighted that John Scott QC has agreed to take on the role of chair. The group draws its membership from Police Scotland, the Scottish Police Authority, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, the Scottish Human Rights Commission and the Information Commissioner’s Office and also includes academic and research expertise.

The group will meet over the coming months and is expected to report to me by the end of 2017. Further details can be found on the Scottish Government website at

The biometrics field is evolving rapidly and new and emerging technologies must be used within a clear framework which incorporates human rights and ethical considerations. The group’s expert advice will ensure that we strike the right balance between protecting the public and safeguarding the rights of individuals in considering how our policy and legislative framework should be reviewed.