Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group to oversee use of large data sets by Home Office

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

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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