The Security Industry Association (SIA) reacted with trepidation as the New Hampshire state legislature considered a bill that, if passed, would severely limit the use of biometric technology in security applications. In a statement, the SIA said, “The residents of New Hampshire have a long tradition of advocating for a limited form of government. That is why is it so surprising that the House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee would consider passing HB 1409 — a bill that would expand the reach of state government into the decision-making authority of local governments and private, tax-paying businesses.”

The SIA believes that HB 1409 is a far-reaching proposal that, if rushed through the legislative process without careful examination, will deprive New Hampshire residents of the benefits of a safe, secure, and efficient technology, compromising their security.

“Rather than prevent the development of innovative biometrics-based identity management initiatives by businesses, schools, colleges, hospitals, and government agencies, SIA respectfully urges the committee to reject HB 1409 and instead pass legislation that would direct that a legislative study of the appropriate use of biometrics within identification cards be conducted,” the statement said.

The introduction of HB 1409 highlights the need to better educate the public about how biometric data is collected, stored, and used, SIA said.

Through the SIA Privacy Working Group, SIA pledged to work with its members to inform the general public about the steps that are regularly taken to protect privacy and secure biometric data, and it welcomes the opportunity to review proposals that would prevent misuse or theft of biometric data.

“We do not think that imposing rigid prohibitions on the use of this valuable technology is the right way to address privacy concerns,” the statement added.