The 2018 report of the Commissioner for the Retention and Use of Biometric Material (Biometrics Commissioner) was submitted to the Home Secretary on 29 March 2019 and published on 27 June 2019.
You can read the government’s response to the Biometrics Commissioner’s annual report 2018.
We have also published an addendum to the report.
The role of the Biometrics Commissioner was established by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (PoFA) and Paul Wiles was appointed as the second commissioner on 1 June 2016. His role is to provide independent oversight of the regime which was established by PoFA, and which came into force on 31 October 2013, to govern the retention and use by the police in England and Wales of DNA samples, DNA profiles and fingerprints.
In addition to various casework responsibilities in relation to DNA and fingerprints, he also has a UK-wide oversight function as regards their retention and use by the police on national security grounds.
This 2018 report deals primarily with developments since the publication of the commissioner’s 2017 report. It covers his casework activities, the general operation of the PoFA regime and a variety of issues that have arisen in connection with its operation in both the normal policing and national security spheres. It also covers a variety of issues that have arisen in relation to the use of new biometrics by the police.