Bill Text - HB312 (2013)

Restricting the collection of biometric data by state agencies, municipalities, and political subdivisions.

Revision: Jan. 17, 2013, midnight






AN ACT restricting the collection of biometric data by state agencies, municipalities, and political subdivisions.

SPONSORS: Rep. Kurk, Hills 2; Rep. John Hunt, Ches 11; Rep. Winters, Hills 18

COMMITTEE: Executive Departments and Administration


This bill restricts the collection of biometric data by state and local government agencies and provides a private right of action for the misuse or unlawful collection of biometric data.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.




In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Thirteen

AN ACT restricting the collection of biometric data by state agencies, municipalities, and political subdivisions.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 New Chapter; Regulation of Biometric Information. Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 359-L the following new chapter:



359-M:1 Definitions. In this chapter:

I. “Biometric data’’ includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(a) Fingerprints, palm prints, and other methods for measuring or recording ridge pattern or fingertip characteristics.

(b) Facial feature pattern characteristics.

(c) Behavior characteristics of a handwritten signature, such as shape, speed, pressure, pen angle, or sequence.

(d) Voice data used for comparing live speech with a previously-created speech model of a person’s voice.

(e) Iris recognition data containing color or texture patterns or codes.

(f) Keystroke dynamics, measuring pressure applied to key pads.

(g) Hand geometry, measuring hand characteristics, including the shape and length of fingers, in 3 dimensions.

(h) Retinal scans, reading through the pupil to measure blood vessels lining the retina.

(i) DNA/RNA.

(j) Photograph or computerized or other image of an individual.

II. “Government agency” includes, but is not limited to, any employee, agent, elected official or entity of the state, a municipality, or any other political subdivision of the state of New¬†Hampshire.

359-M:2 Collection of Biometric Data Prohibited.

I. No government agency shall:

(a) Issue an identification card, other than an employee identification or access card, device or system, or use an identification device or system, that requires the collection or retention of an individual’s biometric data.

(b) Require an individual 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.

(c) Obtain, retain or provide, directly or indirectly, any individual’s biometric data except as set forth in this chapter.

II. Any biometric data collected for an employee identification or access card shall be destroyed when the individual terminates employment with the agency. No biometric data collected under this section shall be subject to a subpoena.

359-M:3 Exemptions. The prohibition in RSA 359-M:2 shall not apply to biometric data collection practices implemented pursuant to statute prior to the effective date of this section, provided that the government agency shall not subsequently expand or modify the type of data collected or the purpose for which it is collected without legislative approval. Legislative approval shall not be required for an airport to expand or modify biometric data collection practices if the expansion or modification is mandated by federal law or regulation.

359-M:4 Violation; Civil Action. Any individual aggrieved by a violation of this chapter, including the loss or misuse of biometric data lawfully collected under RSA 359-M:2 or 359-M:3, may bring a civil action under this section to obtain the following:

I. An injunction of the agency practice;

II. Actual damages or $2,500 for each violation, whichever is greater; and

III. Reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs.

2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2014.