• 26 May 2022
  • In-person
  • Networking

IoD Scotland - Data Ethics - what this means for Directors

Data Ethics – How do you manage business risk while introducing new & emerging technology?

Police Scotland have committed to the “effective and efficient use of data, in an ethical way”. Ethics has been at the heart of Policing since its inception, so ethical use of data is a natural extension.Data is a key organisational asset for Police Scotland, and data plays a direct role in keeping people safe, preventing and detecting crime, keeping officers safe, enabling partnerships and meeting legislative requirements.Like many organisations, Police Scotland have a complex data landscape, managing a variety of traditional IT applications, unstructured data sources and hard copy data. The complexity of the data landscape will increase in the future, with additional demands from external data sources, smart devices, artificial intelligence, and increasing regulation. Most organisations, whether in the private or public sector, are seeking to maximise the business insight they derive from their data, and this is driving a demand for more advanced data-driven technology solutions, e.g. predictive analytics, artificial intelligence.However, these new solutions can introduce new business risks into organisations.In order to manage the business risks relating to the introduction of data-driven technology, Police Scotland have developed a new Data Ethics Governance Framework, in conjunction with the Centre for Data Ethics & Innovation.

Attendees will understand key highlights of:

  • Ethics in Policing – how are ethical dilemmas managed within Police Scotland
  • Police Scotland’s Data Ethics governance framework, and how its used to manage business risk, while enabling operational policing objectives
  • Key business risks and ethical challenges inherent in data-driven technology solutions, e.g. artificial intelligence
  • How to develop a risk-based Data Ethics governance framework to ensure an organisation uses data ethicall
  • Examples of how the use of data can produce ethical risks for any business  


Alan Speirs

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Speirs is the Police Scotland executive lead for Professionalism Governance and Assurance, appointed to the role in 2017.

Within his portfolio, amongst many other business areas, he is responsible for Data and is the Force Senior Information Risk Owner. He was instrumental in establishing
a Chief Data Office in 2018 which has led to the development of the Data Drives Digital Programme, as well as the introduction of a Data Ethics Strategy and Framework.

In addition, ACC Speirs has responsibility for Professional Standards, Audit, Risk
and Assurance functions

Denis Hamill

Denis Hamill is Chief Data Officer at Police Scotland, and is responsible for maximising the value of data across Police Scotland, to ensure that data plays its part in improving the safety and wellbeing of people, places and communities in Scotland. He leads the Chief Data Office which encompasses key capabilities such as data governance, data strategy, information assurance, data science and data ethics.

Denis has led the formation of a new data strategy for Police Scotland which is framing the new “Data Drives Digital” programme, which is delivering key data foundations in areas across master data management, analytics and data discovery.

Prior to joining Police Scotland, Denis has over 25 years’ experience working across multiple industries, including data leadership roles in banking and health insurance.

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