An independent advisory group has been established by government to ensure the use of emerging technologies in operational policing is compatible with equality and human rights legislation.

The new panel of experts will advise ministers on whether current legal or ethical frameworks need to be updated in order to ensure Police Scotland’s use of technology is lawful.

Its remit is to consider what potential impact emerging technologies or analytical techniques – ‘either currently available or in development, but not presently deployed’ – could have on the force’s detection and prevention of crime.

Seventeen members will make up the broad based group, comprised of academics, government justice agencies, including the force’s chief digital information officer, Andrew Hendry and Irene Henry, equality and human rights commissioner. The group will be chaired by Dr Elizabeth Aston of Edinburgh Napier University.

A programme of work will be established across four separate work streams, as follows.

  • Legal Framework and Ethical Standards
  • Evidence and Scientific Standards
  • Consultation and Community Engagement
  • Oversight, Scrutiny and Review

Each will produce a report which will guide Scottish Government and will culminate in a final report submitted in November.

Details of the new group can be found here.