Privacy Rights Examined in New Policing Board Human Rights Review

Privacy and Policing Cover

The Northern Ireland Policing Board has today published a human rights review on policing and privacy with 6 recommendations for action by the PSNI, the Department of Justice and the NI Assembly.

Speaking about the report and recommendations made, Policing Board Vice Chair Edgar Jardine said:

“The review examines a wide range of topics that demonstrate how policing and privacy impact on each other, including access to databases, biometric data collection and use, artificial intelligence, digital forensics, and data protection. It covers both how PSNI powers to investigate crime and protect the public impact on our right to privacy, and the systems of governance, control and regulation in place to prevent abuse of this important right.

The recommendations made reflect the need for a wider public debate around privacy and policing. The Policing Board is committed to taking an active role in the governance of data use in policing to ensure privacy rights are protected.

Transparency in policing is often difficult when it comes to techniques of targeted surveillance and data collection, however this review has found that PSNI techniques are often exaggerated or distorted, which can undermine confidence in policing.  PSNI must continue to become more transparent as its techniques have greater and greater impacts on privacy if it is to continue policing by consent.

The Board and in particular its Performance Committee will continue to scrutinize the work of PSNI in this area to ensure the recommendations and issues identified in this report are implemented to improve policing.”

The Board would like to thank all those who engaged with the Board’s Human Rights Advisor in progressing this review, who are acknowledged in the review.


For further information please contact the Board’s Communications Office on 028 9040 8500.

Notes to Editors:

1. A copy of the report can be found on the Board’s website.

2. The Privacy and Policing Review is in line with the Board’s Human Rights Monitoring Framework, which sets out the areas the Human Rights Advisor and Board will scrutinize over a three-year period. A copy of the Board’s Human Rights Monitoring Framework.