Is Clear Security secure?

If you’ve passed through airport security at more than a few airports in the past year, you’ve probably noticed Clear security lanes. The Cliff Notes version of their service is that they take a retina scan, store some info and let you get through screening faster — for a fee, of course.

I have to admit, I don’t know anyone that uses it. Most business travelers I know fly either in First Class (so don’t have to go through the long security line) or plan well enough in advance to anticipate long security lines (so don’t worry about it). And I think that some people are concerned about giving biometric and personal data to a third party to store in a database — you know, that whole privacy thing.

But surely a security company would keep tight control over and even encrypt that private data, right? Not necessarily. According to cbs5tv, a Clear laptop at San Francisco International airport was boosted the other day, along with the personal data of over 30,000 members in the system. New applications are on hold while the company that operates the checkpoint, Verified Identity Pass Inc., tracks down the notebook.

I’m glad I didn’t apply for a Clear Pass last year.