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New Hampshire: Privacy bill introduced to House of Representatives

House Bill (HB) 314 for An Act relative to the expectation of privacy in the collection and use of personal information was introduced, on 5 January 2023, in the New Hampshire House of Representatives and thereafter referred to the Judiciary Committee. In particular, HB 314 provides that, except as otherwise provided in the law, an individual shall have reasonable expectation of privacy in personal information, including content and usage, given to third-party providers of information and services, and not available to the public. Likewise, HB 314 provides that no government entity shall acquire, collect, retain, or use any personal information of any individual residing in New Hampshire from any third-party provider.

However, HB 314 outlines that the requirement above relating to government entities shall not apply to the following, among other things:

  • personal information acquired, collected, retained, or used by any state regulatory or administrative agency when such acquisition, collection, retention, or use is within the applicable bodies' function;
  • a warrant signed by a judge and based on probable cause has been issued or a judicially recognised exception to the warrant requirement applies;
  • the division of emergency services when handling 911 calls;
  • an individual where the immediate danger of death or serious physical injury to an individual requires the disclosure, without delay, of personal information concerning a specific individual; and
  • cases where the acquisition, collection, retention, or use of personal information is authorised or required by state or federal law.

Moreover, if enacted, HB 314 would enter into force on 1 January 2024.

You can read HB 314 here and track its progress here.

UPDATE (4 January 2024)

Bill amended and passed by House

On 4 January 2024, House Bill 314 for An Act relative to the expectation of privacy in the collection and use of personal information was amended and passed by the New Hampshire House of Representatives. 

Obligations

In particular, the bill now provides that individuals shall have the expectation of privacy in personal information, including content and usage, given to or held by third-party providers of information and services, and not available to the public. Unless authorized by law, third-party providers of information and services must not disclose the personal information of an individual to anyone, unless:

  • such individual has given explicit consent for the disclosure;
  • the third-party has reason to believe the disclosure is necessary for specific reasons;
  • an emergency exists where there is immediate danger of death or serious physical injury; or
  • the information is disclosed in accordance with the bill.

Where a third-party seeks to obtain consent from an individual to disclose to others personal information given to or held by such provider, the procedure by which it does so must meet the following:

  • the request for consent is simple, clear, and unambiguous, stating the purpose or purposes for which information is to be disclosed;
  • the communication is separate from any other communication sent to the individual by the third-party; and
  • the communication is structured so that the individual is required to respond by performing an affirmative and to 'opt-in' to grant consent.

Notably, the bill now also details circumstances under which a third-party may disclose personal information to government entities.

You can read the bill and track its progress here.

UPDATE (27 February 2024)

Bill proceeds to Senate

On 21 February 2024, the bill was introduced to the New Hampshire State Senate and thereafter referred, on the same date, to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

You can read the bill and track its progress here.