About us

The Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group provides independent ethical advice to Home Office ministers on issues related to the use of biometrics and forensics. The BFEG is sponsored by the Home Office.


The remit of the group includes consideration of the ethical impact on society, groups and individuals of the capture, retention and use of human samples and biometric identifiers for purposes which fall within the purview of the Home Office, including the differentiation between, or identification of, individuals.

The remit includes, but is not limited to, consideration of the ethical aspects of:

  • the application and operation of technologies which produce biometric and forensic data and identifiers
  • services currently provided and techniques employed and proposals for new services and techniques
  • applications for research involving access to biometric of forensic data
  • other matters relating to the management, operation and use of biometric or forensic data

Code of Practice

This is the current Code of Practice (PDF, 352KB, 34 pages) which incorporates the Terms of Reference, Working Protocol and explains the remit and operation of the group.

The Code of Practice provides guidance on the establishment, management and activity of the BFEG.

The information summarises good practice set out by:

  • the code of practice for ministerial appointments to public bodies
  • the code of practice for Science Advisory Committees
  • Cabinet Office principles of good corporate governance
  • the Nolan Principles of Public Life

The Code of Practice complements the working protocol between the Home Secretary and the BFEG

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