New Hampshire Legislators Vote Down Bill Restricting Biometrics

New Hampshire lawmakers on Thursday sided overwhelmingly with the Security Industry Association (SIA) on a biometrics bill.

Following an education and advocacy push by SIA, legislators rejected by a 267-39 vote HB 1409, which would have prohibited any government agency or private entity in the state from using biometrics as part of identification cards -- except for employee identification cards -- and from requiring a person “to disclose or provide biometric data as a condition of doing business with, engaging in any business activity or relationship with, or obtaining services from, that agency or entity.” Biometric data was defined in the bill to include everything from DNA to retinal scans to facial features to fingerprints.
 
“We are very pleased that New Hampshire residents will not be denied the use of this important security technology,” SIA director of government relations Don Erickson said. “This bill grew out of misperceptions regarding supposed threats to privacy, but biometrics can make people safer while, at the same time, protecting their identities. We thank the lawmakers who voted against the legislation for their support.”

Erickson traveled to Concord, N.H., this week to meet with bill sponsor Rep. Neal Kurk, R-7th District, and other lawmakers before the vote. In addition, SIA in February submitted a statement to a legislative committee that reviewed the bill. That panel voted 11-6 to oppose the measure.

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