Britain's biometric commissioner and civil society groups say a biometrics strategy released by the UK government this week doesn't cover enough ground.On Thursday, the Home Office published a long-awaited strategy document outlining its approach to the increased use of biometric information in everyday public services.Paul Wiles, Biometrics Commissioner, wrote in a statement that the strategy says little about what future plans the Home Office has for the use of biometrics and the sharing of biometric data.”A debate is needed given the rapid improvements in biometric matching technologies and the increasing ability to hold and analyse large biometric databases.””The government's biometrics strategy is a major disappointment,” said Big Brother Watch director Silkie Carlo to The Register. “After five years of waiting, it reads like a late piece of homework with a remarkable lack of any strategy.”Wiles added: “It is disappointing that the Home Office document is not forward looking as one would expect from a strategy. In particular it does not propose legislation to provide rules for the use and oversight of new biometrics, including facial images. This is in contrast to Scotland where such legislation has been proposed. Given that new biometrics are being rapidly deployed or trialled this failure to set out more definitively what the future landscape will look like in terms of the use and governance of biometrics appears short sighted at best.”The policy's initiatives include:Creating an oversight and advisory board to consider law enforcement's use of facial images and new biometric technologiesPublishing Data Protection Impact Assessments prior to the use of a new biometric technology or a new application of an existing biometric technologyUpdating the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice in collaboration with the Surveillance Camera CommissionerHome Office Minister, Baroness Williams of Trafford, said:”Biometric data plays a vital role in keeping people safe from crime and terrorism – but we must ensure that privacy is respected.”This strategy makes clear that we will grasp the opportunities that technology brings while remaining committed to strengthening safeguards.”