CONCORD, N.H. (June 13, 2016) – New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan recently signed two bills into law that roll back what were some exceptionally strong privacy protections in the state.
The two new laws expand allowable uses for automatic license plate readers (ALPRS) and begin implementation of what will essentially become a national ID system.
Rep. Ken Peterson (R) introduced House Bill 1154 (HB1154) earlier this year. The new statute allows law enforcement agencies to use automatic license plate readers for specific law enforcement functions. Under the old law, considered the most stringent in the nation, the ALPRs were prohibited except for use along toll roads as outlined in a statute prohibiting surveillance along New Hampshire highways. That statute will remain in effect, but the new law expands the permissible use for ALPRs.
The governor also recently signed House Bill 1616 (HB1616) into law. This will begin implementation of REAL ID in the state. President G.W. Bush signed REAL ID into law in 2005. It essentially coopts the states into creating a national ID system. States have resisted implementation of the controversial measure for more than a decade due to privacy concerns, cost and constitutional questions. In 2006, New Hampshire was the first state in the country to reject compliance with REAL ID. While HB1616 allows individuals to opt-out of the federally compliant driver’s licenses, it still represents a major reversal in policy.
Passage of these bills should put New Hampshire residents on alert. There appears to be significant erosion…