May 4, 2010

Clear Airport Security Program To Relaunch

An airport security program that allowed members to pass through airport security checkpoints with ease before being abruptly shut down last June, is expected to start running again by the fall.

The Clear program, was shut down last June after previous owner Verified Identity Pass filed for bankruptcy. It was bought out by Alclear LLC, whose board includes Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

When the program was shut down, there was a lot of concern among members over sensitive personal data they volunteered in exchange for quick security gate checks. Although the former owner was a private firm, Clear had to report personal information to the Transportation Security Administration.

The data is stored by an anonymous security company. Former Clear customers will soon be sent a notice, asking if they would like their personal data transferred to Alclear. Those who do not wish to continue with the new company will have their data destroyed.

To join the Clear program, passengers are required to get fingerprinted and have their irises scanned for positive identification. They must also supply Social Security numbers that the company shares with the TSA. In return, they get access to shorter security lines.

Alclear said in a statement Tuesday that it will honor the subscription terms of nearly 160,000 previous members, and enrollment will begin this summer for new members. The service was offered at 20 airports around the country, but the new owners did not say how many airports will carry the new version of the service.

Memberships for the Clear program will cost $179 for unlimited use.


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