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    ‘Clear’ Registered Traveler Program Goes Out of Business

    News organizations are reporting that the “Clear” Registered Traveler program has gone out of business. Clear was the leading company in the Transportation Security Administration’s Registered Traveler program, which offered dedicated security lines for travelers who paid an annual fee, passed a background check and submitted biometric data such as iris scans and fingerprints. More than 250,000 people were enrolled in Clear.

    Last year at AmericaBlog, I wrote about a security breach by “Clear” (also known as “Verified Identity Pass, Inc.), and I detailed the substantial privacy and security problems with creating a trusted class of travelers that criminals and terrorists would try to join.

    At the company’s Web site, there is this posting:

    Clear Lanes Are No Longer Available.

    At 11:00 p.m. PST on June 22, 2009, Clear will cease operations. Clear’s parent company, Verified Identity Pass, Inc. has been unable to negotiate an agreement with its senior creditor to continue operations.

    What will happen to my personal information?

    Applicant and Member data is currently secured in accordance with the Transportation Security Administration’s Security, Privacy and Compliance Standards. Verified Identity Pass, Inc.  will continue to secure such information and will take appropriate steps to delete the information.

    Will I receive a refund for membership in Clear?

    At the present time, because of its financial condition, Verified Identity Pass, Inc. cannot issue refunds.

    USA Today notes:

    The push for faster screening began after the 9/11 attacks, when tightened security led to massive lines in airports and complaints from travelers. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) created the Registered Traveler program that lets companies establish exclusive security lines at airports.
    Verified dominated the business, getting hired at 18 of the 21 airports with reserved security lines. The exceptions: airports in Jacksonville, Louisville and Reno. Verified said in May that its lines had been used 2.5 million times. Last year, the company announced plans to provide express security lines at NFL games in Atlanta, Denver and San Francisco.

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