Call for biometric tech laws

1 min read

An independent legal review has called for new laws to be urgently introduced to govern biometric technologies.

The review, led by Matthew Ryder QC, said that any law would need to cover biometric data such as faces, fingerprints, voices, DNA profiles, anything that was related to the body.

It comes at a time when facial recognition technology is being increasingly, and widely, used but the review found that the rules governing its use here in the UK were unclear and failing to keep up with the technology.

Used by the police, this technology is now being widely deployed by private and public organisations and according to the Ada Lovelace Institute, which commissioned the review, biometric technologies are being used in schools, to verify students’ identities, supermarkets, and by companies to score video interviews.

Consequently, they believe that there is a serious need for better laws and regulation to enable much better scrutiny of this increasingly invasive technology.

The current legal framework and the reactive approach taken to this technology is described as not being fit for purpose, despite a range of laws that could be used to influence how biometric data could be used such as the: Human Rights Act 1998, the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, among many others.

Better laws need to be in place to regulate this technology and to provide much better levels of oversight.