“Clear” (also known as “Verified Identity Pass, Inc.) 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. Clear announced in June that it had gone out of business. A judge later ordered the company not to sell the biometric data it collected from its more than 250,000 customers. Customers filed a class-action lawsuit, but it did not go forward during the bankruptcy proceeding.
Now, the New York Times reports that the company may be revived. On April 16, its assets were sold to AlClear for $6 million in a bankruptcy proceeding.
The new company, to be renamed Clear, will be based in New York. Mr. LaPenta and Michael Chertoff, a former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, will sit on its board.
AlClear acquired the customer database, the brand and the airport kiosks of the old V.I.P., which had more than 160,000 subscribers when it went out of business. But AlClear did not acquire what was perhaps the older company’s most important asset: its relationship with airports. Those contracts were voided in bankruptcy court.
The company said it was in advanced discussions with several airports and hoped to open its fast-lane security service this fall. In the next few weeks, it will begin contacting former subscribers and offering them the opportunity to reactivate their memberships. […]
[Caryn Seidman-Becker, a co-founder of the new Clear] said that the fee for the new service would be $179 a year, down from $200, and that subscribers could buy a family plan for an additional $50. A company spokesman said that Clear would purge the personal data — including fingerprint and iris patterns — of customers who chose not to reactivate their accounts.