The Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group (BFEG), a non-departmental public body, will now be asked to consider ethical issues relating to the use of large and complex data sets by the Home Office. The BFEG will provide independent oversight of the Data Ethics Governance Framework, which was established to ensure balanced consideration of the use of data within the Home Office.
Speaking about this move, which is aimed at strengthening the public’s assurance on the use of data within the department, Chris Hughes OBE (chair of the BFEG) said: “With ever-increasing volumes of data and the implementation of new data protection legislation, it’s now more appropriate than ever to expand the BFEG’s remit to consider large and complex data sets. The expansion will build on existing work and determine to ensure that the use of an individual’s personal data is both legitimate and proportionate, in turn contributing to justified trust in the Home Office.”
The BFEG will continue to consider the ethical aspects of:
*the application and operation of technologies which produce biometric and forensic data and identifiers
*ethical issues relating to scientific services provided to the police service and other public bodies within the criminal justice system
*applications for research involving access to biometric or forensic data
*matters relating to the management, operation and use of biometric or forensic data