SIA opposes Alaska biometrics bill

The Security Industry Association has come out this week in opposition of an Alaska bill that would restrict the use of biometric technology.

According to the bill, which is sponsored by Alaska State Sen. Bill Wielechowski, a person must give "informed and written consent" before their biometric data could be obtained, excluding law enforcement and other state and federal authorities. The bill defines biometric data as fingerprints, handprints, voices, facial images, iris images, and retinal images.

In a statement, the SIA says the proposed legislation would adversely impact the use of biometrics for security purposes and noted in a letter to the bill’s sponsor that it would have "unintended negative consequences."

"Biometrics provide an effective measure against fraud and identity theft in applications as diverse as personal access to buildings/computers, banking security, business-to-business transactions and e-commerce," SIA CEO Richard Chace wrote in the letter.

Similar legislation was defeated earlier this year in New Hampshire following lobbying efforts by the SIA.