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Travel (and CT) Alert: Clear Security ceases operation

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posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 10:33 PM
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So out of the blue I just received an email from Flyclear Security telling me that effective immediately they are ceasing all operations.

For those who are not familiar with "Clear" it was a company that worked in conjunction with the TSA to pre-screen US residents and nationals. For a fee of $110 + a year you were able to bypass the long security lines at hand baggage check at most US and some international airports..

For the frequent flyer this was surely a highly valued convenience, for the CT it was a foreshadowing of what may be to come.

Or was it?


Just yesterday evening I passed by the Clear Lane at Boston's Logan International Airport, I saw my favorite employee and wondered how the business was doing.

The company, designed to allow passengers to pay to get around lengthly security lines, was formed on the concept that enough people would pay for the service to make the operation profitable. Now, it appears that that's not the case -- especially as people are trying to cut back during the recession.

Navigating to flyclear.com, browsers receive the following, solemn message:

"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." gadling.com


www.flyclear.com...

There were always serious privacy concerns regarding "flyclear."

Fly Clear & Managing Your Digital Identity

A couple of interesting questions ...

1. What will now happen to all this private information?

2. Can this failure be construed simply as result of a suffering economy, or were people inherently more resistant to the idea of a federally associated "tracking" program than the original investors ever envisioned?

This just happened but a half hour ago ...

I will update the details as they become available.




posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 10:38 PM
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Righ up my alley,
In OZ its government run.
SO yes its a concern that public companies can house your info in the states.
I assume to ge the clearance the same porcess takes place, where you have full background, tax and police checks done?
Im not sure of US privacy laws, but in OZ you can ask for any data with your name attached to it to be removed from where it is housed.

As its ceased trading, well you're in a spot as how do you access a decommissioned server?
hmm
bad news bears



posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 10:46 PM
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reply to post by zazzafrazz
 


When I got mine over a year ago i had to fill out an application.
They did a background check (don't know how pervasive), they sent me a notice to go to one of their locations where they took my biometrics including fingerprint and iris scan.
I don't remember what else was involved but it's all sitting there on some server that is going to be owned by whomever buys their assets in liquidation.
Needless to say I'm not a happy puppy right now.


[edit on 22 Jun 2009 by schrodingers dog]



posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 11:00 PM
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Here's Clear's privacy policy:

www.flyclear.com...

it says nothing about what happens to personal information in case the company fails or goes into receivership.



posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 11:10 PM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog
Here's Clear's privacy policy:

www.flyclear.com...

it says nothing about what happens to personal information in case the company fails or goes into receivership.


Generally speaking, if a company goes into receivership, all the data becomes something that can be sold.

If someone buys the company, they will own the data you have provided - and it will be subject to their privacy policy.

Best case scenario: it gets bought out by another similar company with the same privacy policy.

Worst case: best not think about it, frankly.



posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 11:37 PM
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Aaaaaaand here's where it gets interesting and creepy:


The private company was funded by Lockheed Martin, GE Security, Lehman Brothers and several venture-capital firms. usatoday


Oh dear, I don't like the sound of that one bit.

Lockheed Martin and GE now own my info.



posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 11:59 PM
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GE own your eyeballs and fingers now!



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 12:34 PM
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So Clear's competitor Flo (of which I had never heard of before) had this announcement today:


On June 22nd our competitor and fellow Registered Traveler Service Provider, Verified Identity Pass (also known as Clear), announced immediate cessation of operations at all of their airports. Flo is currently working with other participants in the industry as well as the Transportation Security Administration to analyze the implications of this announcement and to formulate a plan for the advancement of the program. We have no additional comment at this time but would expect to release further information pending a public statement from the TSA. flocard


It looks like they might try to incorporate Clear's customers into their program.



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 03:36 PM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


This is a likely outcoume and ok for you as the competitor would have gone through the same regulations from Homeland security regarding privacy laws adherenace.
So when they transfer your info, either stay with them to continue the service or get yourself off the books, so to speak.


[edit on 23-6-2009 by zazzafrazz]



posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 01:20 PM
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An update ...

I just received the following email communication from Clear:


Clear Member Update

Dear ______________,

In response to questions raised by our members, Clear would like to offer the following information:

Clear Lanes Are No Longer Available.

At 11:00 p.m. PST on June 22, 2009, Clear ceased operations. Clear's parent company, Verified Identity Pass, Inc., was unable to negotiate an agreement with its senior creditor to continue operations. Verified Identity Pass regrets that Clear will not be able to continue operations.

How is Clear securing personal information?

Clear stands by our commitment to protect our customer's personally identifiable information - including fingerprints, iris images, photos, names, addresses, credit card numbers and other personal information provided to us - and to keep the privacy promises that we have made. Information is secured in accordance with the Transportation Security Administration's Security, Privacy and Compliance Standards.

How is Clear securing any information at the airports?

Each hard disk at the airport, including the enrollment and verification kiosks, has now been wiped clean of all data and software. The triple wipe process we used automatically and completely overwrites the contents of the entire disk, including the operating system, the data and the file structure. This process also prevents or thoroughly hinders all known techniques of hard disk forensic analysis.

How is Clear securing any information in central databases and corporate systems?

Lockheed Martin is the lead systems integrator for Clear, and is currently working with Verified Identity Pass, Inc. to ensure an orderly shutdown as the program closes. As Verified Identity Pass, Inc. and the Transportation Security Administration work through this process, Lockheed Martin remains committed to protecting the privacy of individuals' personal information provided for the Clear Registered Traveler program. Lockheed's work will also remain consistent with the Transportation Security Administration's federal requirements and the enhanced security and privacy requirements of Verified Identity Pass, Inc.

The computers that Verified Identity Pass, Inc. assigned to its former corporate employees are being wiped using the same process described for computers at the airports.

Will personally identifiable information be sold?

The personally identifiable information that customers provided to Clear may not be used for any purpose other than a Registered Traveler program operated by a Transportation Security Administration authorized service provider. Any new service provider would need to maintain personally identifiable information in accordance with the Transportation Security Administration's privacy and security requirements for Registered Traveler programs. If the information is not used for a Registered Traveler program, it will be deleted.

How will members be notified when information is deleted?

Clear intends to notify members in a final email message when the information is deleted.

Who is monitoring this process?

Clear is communicating with TSA, airport and airline sponsors, and subcontractors, to ensure that the security of the information and systems is maintained throughout the closure process. Clear thanks these partners for their continuing cooperation and diligence.

How can I contact Clear?

Please visit our website, www.flyclear.com, for the latest updates. Clear's call center and customer support email service are no longer available.

Will I receive a refund for membership in Clear?

At the present time, Verified Identity Pass, Inc. cannot issue refunds due to the company's financial condition.

Has Verified Identity Pass, Inc. filed for bankruptcy?

At the present time, Verified Identity Pass has not commenced any proceedings under the United States Bankruptcy Code.


Clear Customer Service


This is how I read this... they are saying that they are wiping all external/remote hard drives. They are keeping the master data in case they sell it to another TSA compliant provider such as Flocard. "They" being effectively Lockheed Martin.

None of this is very comforting.



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