But at least two trade groups oppose the legislation, saying biometrics technology has a number of security benefits, namely around ID management.
The bill would prohibit biometrics data, including fingerprints, retinal scans and DNA, from being used in state or privately issued ID cards, except for employee ID cards. In addition, it would ban the use of ID devices or systems that require the collection or retention of an individual's biometric data.
Under the bill, biometric data would also include palm prints, facial feature patterns, handwritten signature characteristics, voice data, iris recognition, keystroke dynamics and hand characteristics.

“That's the kind of information the government shouldn't generally require to be gathered about an individual,” New Hampshire Rep. Daniel Itse, who co-sponsored the bill, told SCMagazineUS.com on Wednesday.
But the bill has drawn criticism from several organizations, including the Security Industry Association (SIA), a business trade group covering the electronic and physical security market.
“SIA firmly believes that the broad restrictions proposed by [the bill]… reflects a significant misunderstanding of the security features and privacy safeguards of this widely-adopted technology," the group said in a statement.
SIA encouraged a New Hampshire House committee to reject the bill and conduct a study into the merits of biometrics technology.
This is the only pending bill of its kind in the nation, but in the past there have been similar legislative actions taken in opposition of biometrics technology, Don Erickson, director of government relations for SIA, told SCMagazineUS.com on Wednesday.

“We are concerned about seeing a pattern of these bills start to pop up in states, which will result in a patchwork of different laws that organizations would have to comply with,” Erickson said.
A similar bill, introduced several years ago in Pennsylvania to limit the use of biometrics, was never acted on, Erickson said.

In contrast, numerous bills have passed at the state and federal levels to authorize and implement systems that use biometrics technology for personal identification, Walter Hamilton, chairman and president of the International Biometric Industry Association (IBIA), a nonprofit trade association representing developers, manufacturers, and integrators of biometrics, told SCMagazineUS.com on Wednesday.

“We think it's inappropriate to single out a technology and say, 'Thou shall not use,'” Hamilton said. “We think there are many examples of useful applications where it protects citizens.”
The use of biometrics can thwart fraud and identity theft by ensuring a person is who they claim to be, he said.
The bill was introduced in January in the New Hampshire House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee. It was the subject of a public hearing Tuesday and is scheduled for discussion Thursday in an executive session of the committee.

Polish Priest Measures Parishioners' Piety With Fingerprint Scanner

Aside from the Good Lord, parishioners at a Catholic church in Poland will soon have another seemingly omnipresent being making sure they attend mass: technology. According to Reuters, father Grzegorz Sowa recently installed in his church an electronic fingerprint scanner that keeps track of how often schoolchildren attend mass. If a student attends mass 200 times over a three-year period, he or she doesn't have to pass an exam before confirmation.

Formerly, the kids would have to get the priest to sign a sheet of paper that said they'd been present at mass. Now, they'll simply press their finger to a screen and be on their way, saving both priest and parishioner time. "
This is comfortable. We don't have to stand in a line to get the priest's signature [confirming our presence at the mass] in our confirmation notebooks," said a student named Karolina.
While the Catholic Church still hasn't totally embraced technology, recent years have seen it become a little more open. Pope Benedict XVI even said he's cool with Facebook and MySpace, sorta. Hey, it's all about baby steps -- tiny, tiny baby steps. After all, Rome wasn't built in a day, and, for that matter, neither was the Vatican. [From: Reuters]