Biometric Identification

House of Lords written question – answered on 17th July 2003.

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Photo of The Earl of Northesk The Earl of Northesk Conservative

asked Her Majesty's Government:

In respect of the Home Office's decison to pilot the collection of biometric data from Sri Lankan nationals applying for United Kingdom visas, how and where the data so collected will be stored; and how access to the data by the police and other law enforcement agencies, whether United Kingdom based or not, will be administered.

Photo of Baroness Scotland of Asthal Baroness Scotland of Asthal Minister of State, Home Office, Minister of State (Home Office) (Criminal Justice and Offender Management)

The pilot collection of fingerprint data will apply to anyone, of whatever nationality, making an entry clearance application in Colombo.

The fingerprint records collected will be added to the fingerprint records already held on the Home Office Immigration and Asylum Fingerprint System (IAFS). The data will be stored in an electronic format. The fingerprint records collected in Colombo will be administered in the same way as all other fingerprint data collected in immigration and asylum applications. Any request by the police, or other authorised law enforcement agency, will involve them providing a set of fingerprints which will be checked by Home Office staff against the IAFS system. Such checks will be carried out in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

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