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Third Annual Report of the Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group

Volume 691: debated on Thursday 18 March 2021

My noble Friend the Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Williams of Trafford) has today made the following written ministerial statement:

I am pleased to announce the publication of the third annual report of the Biometrics and Forensic Ethics Group on 18 March 2021. The group provides Ministers with independent advice on matters relating to ethical issues in forensic science and biometrics and considers issues in data ethics.

I would like to thank the group for its advice concerning the use and retention of biometric identifiers and for its advice on the development and testing of biometric technologies.

The group has provided advice and guidance on issues such as: retention of additional DNA profile information on the national DNA database, and a trial on the use of near-match reporting; consideration of the ethical issues in genetic genealogy and massively parallel sequencing approaches for criminal investigations; and recommendations for leaflets to inform the public on issues relating to burial at sea and deletion of custody images.

The Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group annual report can be viewed on the website of the group at: https://www. and a copy will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.