Public consultation on the Scottish Biometrics Commissioner’s Code of Practice
This consultation is seeking evidence and views on:
The Draft Code of Practice – The SBC has a statutory duty to prepare, and from time to time revise, a code of practice on the acquisition, retention, use and destruction of biometric data for criminal justice and police purposes.
The Code of Practice has been developed following extensive and ongoing consultation and is structured around 12 Guiding Principles and Ethical Considerations to which Police Scotland, Scottish Police Authority and the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner must adhere to when acquiring, retaining, using, or destroying biometric data for criminal justice and policing purposes in Scotland. These principles and ethical considerations form the basis against which compliance with this Code of Practice will be assessed.
The Code of Practice is structured into 8 parts. Parts 1 to 4 of this Code contain introductory background information on biometric data and technologies in a policing and criminal justice context. Part 5 of this Code should also be read in conjunction with Appendix ‘A’ which contains an assessment framework of 42 quality indicators for biometric data outcomes. These sections also serve as a self-assessment checklist for the bodies to whom this Code of Practice applies in terms of supporting their own distinct internal governance arrangements. Part 6 is forward looking and outlines the considerations and recommended process for adopting future biometric technologies or new applications of existing technologies. Part 7 and 8 describe the arrangements set out to monitor and report on the Code, including where necessary the service of compliance notices. The Code of Practice applies to Police Scotland, the Scottish Police Authority, and the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner.
This public consultation on the draft Code follows a targeted consultation last year. Therefore, the draft Code of Practice you will be reading has already incorporated views from a range of consultees, including the national bodies to whom the Code would apply, civil society and UK wide policing bodies. The Commissioner also wrote to all 12 statutory consultees as required by section 10 of the Scottish Biometrics Commissioner Act 2020.
This consultation will close at 5:00 pm on Wednesday 1 June 2022.
How to feedback
There are two ways you can provide comments:
Please email Contact@biometricscommissioner.scot if you would like to respond via email.
You can also send your comments back to us by post: Scottish Biometrics Commissioner, Operational Manager. Bridgeside House. 99 Mc Donald Road, Edinburgh. EH7 4NS.
The current draft Code of Practice has been laid before the Scottish Parliament as required under Section 11 (1) of the Scottish Biometrics Commissioner Act 2020. Once the consultation has closed, the responses will inform the final phase of work on the Code of Practice. The Scottish Government will prepare draft legislation on the Code of Practice by the end of 2022, which will be introduced as soon as parliamentary time allows.