§ Mr. Cohen
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many fingerprint records will eventually be stored in the Lockheed Martin fingerprint computer system based in Florida; what steps he has taken to ensure that the United States authorities cannot use their powers to access the fingerprints of Untied Kingdom citizens stored on the system; by what means he would be informed if such actions took place; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Maclean
The computer system in question is controlled by the AFR Consortium of 33 police forces, and it is for the member forces to administer it in accordance with the relevant legal provisions, including the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and the Data Protection Acts. I understand from the AFR Consortium that there are now about 2.7 million sets of fingerprint images on the system, and that it is expected that about 3 million sets will eventfully be stored on the system, which is located in Tacoma, Washington State, not Florida. It is believed that there are no powers under which the fingerprints stored on the system could be accessed by the United States authorities. If the United States authorities require access to images of fingerprints held by the police service in the United Kingdom, reciprocal arrangements exist under which they may apply to the national identification service for copies.