The Home Office has published its long-awaited Biometrics Strategy. The Strategy, which was initially due some years ago, sets out the “overarching framework within which organisations in the Home Office sector will consider and make decisions on the use and development of biometric technology.”
The document outlines the current biometrics use cases across the Government, and the programmes to develop capabilities that are already in the pipeline. Industry suppliers may be interested in the Annex to the Strategy, which gives an overview of current biometric uses, legislation, oversight and governance.
While welcoming the Strategy as a basis for a more informed public debate on biometrics, the Biometrics Commissioner commented “unfortunately the strategy says little about what future plans the Home Office has for the use of biometrics and the sharing of biometric data. A debate is needed given the rapid improvements in biometric matching technologies and the increasing ability to hold and analyse large biometric databases.”
techUK was pleased to contribute to a recent briefing note by the Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology on Biometrics Technology. This briefing note is intended to provide a balanced and accessible overview of the technology to inform Parliamentarians. Given the potential of biometrics to transform delivery of certain public services, and in light of the ethical and legal issues involved, it will be crucial that MPs and Peers are able to be adequately informed as they debate this subject.