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Scottish Biometrics Commissioner Act 2020


Section 19: Offence of Commissioner’s office disclosing confidential information

32.Section 19 contains a confidentiality provision that covers the following: the Commissioner (including any former Commissioners); the Commissioner’s staff (or past staff); and an agent (or former agent) of the Commissioner. These persons would be guilty of an offence if they knowingly disclosed information which had been obtained in the course of the Commissioner’s activities, knowing that the information is not at the time of disclosure, and has not previously been, in the public domain. There is an exception under which disclosure is authorised where it is made with the consent of the person from whom the information was obtained, or where it is necessary for the purposes of exercising the Commissioner’s functions, or where it is made for the purposes of legal proceedings (whether criminal or civil – and including the purposes of the investigation of any offence or suspected offence). A person guilty of an offence is liable to a fine on summary conviction or conviction on indictment. The fine on summary conviction is up to the statutory maximum, which is defined in schedule 1 of the Interpretation and Legislative Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 as the prescribed sum under section 225(8) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 (currently £10,000). The fine on indictment can be unlimited as section 211(1) of the 1995 Act makes any fine on conviction on indictment unlimited.

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Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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