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News Link • Homeland Security

Connect The Dots: Biometrics + TSA + Chertoff = Travel Privileges

Subscribers paid an annual $199 fee and filled out an extensive application that included some high-tech biometric requirements involving iris scanning, finger printing, copies of government-issued IDs, and a Lexus Nexus background check. In exchange for giving CLEARcard this extensive, and very personal information, subscribers would get an encrypted identity card that would give them the privilege of going through the CLEAR lane at participating airports. At the start of the security check, a friendly CLEAR concierge would greet subscribers. Then, subscribers would insert their CLEARcard into a biometrics machine and would have to verify their fingerprints and iris by looking into the kiosk and placing their index finger on a scanner. IDs would also be checked. Going through this simple procedure would get subscribers past the first manual security check at TSA called the Travel Document Checker. That is where the line can become a snaking slow-paced procession leading to a Transportation Security Officers who is manually checks passengers' IDs by using a black light and magnifying loupe. Once confirmed by the system, the CLEARcard member was then taken to the front of the security line where the concierge assisted him or her with getting luggage onto the x-ray machine. It didn't allow members to bypass the security metal detectors, or rude TSA officers, but it did move them past the first level of the security gauntlet at airports. The first stage happens to be the most time-consuming part of the process.

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