Isakson Demands Assurances from DHS, TSA On Handling Of Personal, Biometric Data Held By Now-Defunct Clear
U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Acting TSA Administrator Gail Rossides regarding the status of personal and biometric information submitted by customers of Clear, a registered traveler program that allowed travelers access to special TSA lines at participating airports. On June 22, Clear ceased operations after its parent company, Verified Identity Pass, Inc., was unable to negotiate an agreement with its senior creditor to continue operations.
"As Clear winds down its operation, I need to know that the deletion of this credentialing and biometric data remains a top priority," Isakson wrote in the letter. "I am also concerned that the personal and biometric information of my constituents could be compromised."
Clear operated security lanes at 20 airports nationwide, including Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Clear customers paid $199 per year and were prescreened before receiving a special identification card that allowed them access to designated security lanes.
As part of this prescreening process, Clear collected personal credentialing information from its customers such as name, Social Security number, passport information, date of birth, address and other personal identifying information. Clear also collected biometric information in the form of facial photographs, iris scans and fingerprint scans.
Clear signed up and collected personal and biometric data for over 20,000 Georgians and an additional 240,000 customers nationwide.
In the letter, Isakson requested a meeting with TSA officials to be briefed on the steps TSA is taking to ensure the protection and deletion of this personal and biornetric information.