SIA Defends Biometrics, RFID Technology in 2 States

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Security Industry Association (SIA) recently defended the use of biometrics in New Hampshire. The group has also voiced its concern with banning radio frequency identification (RFID) technology in Oklahoma.

The New Hampshire legislature is considering a bill (H.B. 244) that would ban most public and private uses of biometrics in the state. SIA CEO Richard Chace addressed his concern for the legislation in a letter to the bill’s sponsor Rep. Neal Kurk, R-District 7. He warned that the bill’s approval would stop the progress of biometrics-based identity management plans for businesses, schools, colleges, hospitals and government agencies. He also referenced the federal government’s growing use of biometrics in identification (I.D.) cards.

Chace said the legislation reflects “a significant misunderstanding of the security features and privacy safeguards of widely-adopted biometrics technologies.” He pointed Kurk to SIA’s Privacy Framework, which outlines best practices for deploying security technology in a way that protects privacy.

SIA helped to defeat a similar proposal from Kurk in 2010.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma lawmakers are considering a bill (H.B. 1399) from Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, R-District 54. If passed, the bill would ban the use of RFID technology in state driver’s licenses and I.D. cards.

In a letter to Wesselhoft, Chace noted that there are some valid concerns using RFID technology in some applications. However, he warned that if approved, the bill could lead to using less secure technologies that would likely put citizens’ personal information at risk.

Chace also mentioned SIA’s Privacy Framework in the letter. He stressed that “safeguarding the privacy of personal information collected through government-issued identification documents is of paramount concern to SIA and our members.”

In 2010, a similar bill from Wesselhoft made it through the legislature. At SIA’s urging, Gov. Brad Henry rejected the measure.

To view a state-by-state breakdown of SIA’s legislative activities, click here.


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