Passing Through Airport Security With the Touch of a Finger

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New York Times:

Airport terminals are often a maze of lines that choke check-in counters and kiosks, baggage drop-off areas, gates and security checkpoints.

Finding solutions to line fatigue has become a priority for the Transportation Security Administration — and a business opportunity for others. A company called Clear is using fingerprints and iris scans to spare some passengers the first phase of the T.S.A.’s security airport screening process — the document-verification checkpoint and its line.

Clear says it can speed fliers through checkpoints while maintaining tight security. But the rollout process has been slow — Clear is available only in some terminals at 24 domestic airports — an earlier iteration of the company had a data security issue.

One effective way of safeguarding privacy is to convert the raw fingerprints and iris scans into impenetrable ID codes, said Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist for the Center for Democracy and Technology, a nonprofit internet privacy group. Companies should verify each person’s identity against the stored code, or “hash,” rather than the actual fingerprint or iris scan, he said, and the data should be double-encrypted.

Full story here.

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