Publication of the first Annual Report of the Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group

Home Office written statement – made on 4th November 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department, Minister for Equalities (Department for International Development)

I am pleased to announce the publication of the first annual report of the Biometrics and Forensic Ethics Group. The Group was established to meet the current needs for ethical review following the expansion of the National DNA Database Ethics Group remit and provides Ministers with independent advice on matters relating to data ethics and ethical issues in forensic science and biometrics.

I would like to thank the Group for their strategic advice concerning the use of biometric identifiers and for their continued oversight of the work of the Forensic Information Databases Service Strategy Board. Technologies pertaining to forensics and biometrics are rapidly evolving and the recommendations from the Group are more relevant than ever before, particularly with the expansion of the group’s remit this year to include ethical problems posed by analysis of large data sets.

The Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group annual report can be viewed on the website of the Group at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/biometrics-and-forensics-ethics-group and a copy will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS79