Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Not So Clear

People who know me knew that I was definitely tracking the Clear story, but I haven't had an opportunity to say anything about it (at least on the blog) until now. Why was I interested? Because I work in the biometrics field, and although my employer was not directly affected by Verified Identity Pass ceasing operations, it obviously has potential effects for growth of the biometrics industry.

If you missed the story last week, let me catch you up. SecureIDNews:

Verified Identity Pass, which operated the CLEAR service that helped registered travelers zip through security checkpoints at more than a dozen airports in the U.S., announced it is going out of business....The company cited an inability to negotiate an agreement with a large creditor to continue operations.

Again, this was not an issue with the technology that was used; it was an issue with the business plan. You had to pay a rather hefty price to register with the program, and in this recessionary environment where companies are cutting 401(k) matching, you aren't going to see a lot of firms pony up to pay for a Clear pass, nor are you going to see a lot of employees bearing the cost on their own.

This of course will not affect biometric passport and visa programs, which are (a) much cheaper for the purchaser, and (b) mandated by various governments.

But what will happen to the data that Clear collected? One Clear user isn't happy:

"They had your social security information, credit information, where you lived, employment history, fingerprint information," said Clear customer David Maynor, who is chief technical officer with Errata Security in Atlanta. "They should be the only ones who have access to that information."

Maynor wants Clear to delete his information, but that isn't happening, the company said....
blog comments powered by Disqus