LEGISLATION to create a new commissioner to oversee how police use data such as fingerprints and facial imaging has been approved at Holyrood.

MSPs unanimously approved a Bill that will allow for the new post of Biometrics Commissioner to be established.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf added that measures in the Scottish Biometrics Commissioner Bill should also ensure that the way police use biometrics data – including new facial recognition technology – is "effective, lawful and ethical".

He said: "The biometrics field is evolving rapidly and offers great potential in the detection, prevention and prosecution of crime – which keeps our communities safe.

"But the use of biometric data and technologies also raises ethical and human rights considerations."

The new commissioner will oversee the work of Police Scotland, the Scottish Police Authority and the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner – with ministers able to add further bodies to this list in the future if needed.

A code of practice will be drawn up, setting out the standards these organisations must meet with regard to their use of biometric data.

Any breaches of this could be reported to the Scottish Parliament, and ultimately to the Court of Session, Yousaf said.

Meanwhile, a complaints procedure will also be set up, for members of the public who are concerned about how their data is being collected, stored and used.

Yousaf said: "The role of biometrics is increasingly important in how crime is investigated, detected and prosecuted in Scotland. This legislation will ensure quality and consistency in how biometric data is collected, used, retained and destroyed by policing bodies."

The Justice Secretary added: "It is important that we equip Scotland's police officers with the necessary technology to ensure they can continue to keep people safe.

"At the same time, it is important that the public has absolute confidence in those technological advances and how their data will be collected or retained."