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3/18/2010
04:07 PM
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N.H. Lawmakers Reject Broad Restrictions On Biometrics

Vote followed advocacy effort by Security Industry Association

ALEXANDRIA, Va. " New Hampshire lawmakers on Thursday sided overwhelmingly with the Security Industry Association (SIA) on a crucial biometrics issue.

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.

The Security Industry Association (www.siaonline.org) is the leading trade group for businesses in the electronic and physical security market. SIA protects and advances its members' interests by advocating pro-industry policies and legislation on Capitol Hill and throughout the 50 states; producing cutting-edge global market research; creating open industry standards that enable integration; advancing industry professionalism through education and training; opening global market opportunities; and providing sole sponsorship of the ISC Expos, the world's largest security trade shows and conferences.

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