Is Your Mugshot Being Kept on a UK Police Database Without You Knowing It?

By Gary Cutlack on at

A committee of MPs has attacked the government over the way our data is handled by authorities, claiming that a database of "millions" of mugshots and assorted biometrics is being improperly looked after.

The Science and Technology Committee, chaired by Labour MP Andrew Miller, says the government needs to put together a coherent strategy on the use of biometrics, one that could pull together the various strands of law previously put in place by the immigration office, the failed ID card lobby and the police.

Most worrying of all, the report says: "We were particularly concerned to hear that the police are uploading photographs taken in custody, including images of people not subsequently charged with, or convicted of, a crime, to the Police National Database and applying facial recognition software," suggesting that lots of people in lots of places may have access to data that shouldn't really be continuously stored.

The report authors demand a "comprehensive, cross-departmental forensics and biometrics strategy to be published by the Government no later than December 2015," to stop the public stressing so much about who's got access to their unflattering photos, prints and DNA. [Parliament [PDF] via The Register]

Image credit: Mugshot from Shutterstock