Police Use of Emerging Technology

A Review for the Scottish Government

The Scottish Government Independent Advisory Group on Emerging Technologies (ETIAG) has published its review on the police use of emerging technology. The group was led by Scittish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR) and incorporates a significant component by CRISP researchers based at the University of Stirling. 

The independent review of new policing technologies has suggested statutory codes of practice could be considered to provide greater clarity and safeguards around the future use of live facial recognition and certain artificial intelligence (AI) applications.  Whilst it did not find significant legislative gaps around police use of emerging technologies, the report suggests new laws may be needed for autonomous security robots, if their use for enforcement purposes is considered in future. The review looked at innovation in areas including electronic databases, biometric identification and surveillance, and predictive policing, while considering their impact on human rights, ethical best practice and public confidence in policing.

Alongside the possibility of statutory codes of practice, the Group recommends the inclusion of an ethical and human rights impact assessment in any business case for any new technology, and advised Police Scotland to publicly share the legal basis for using it, as well as relevant complaints processes.  It also points out that the routine collection and publication of data on the equality and human rights impacts of police use of emerging technologies would help to facilitate ongoing scrutiny.

The Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR) press release about the report can be found here.

The full report can be found here.

The Stirling led Review of the Police Use of Emerging Technologies can be found here.

For further information please contact CRISP@stir.ac.uk