Finger, eye scan promise to get travelers through airport security faster

New technology is coming to Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport that promises to get travelers through airport security in about five minutes with a quick scan. The new technology will quickly scan eyes or fingers and would let travelers bypass security lines. Biometrics is the DNA of what’s called CLEAR, a new passenger identity program that promises to transform the airport travel experience, according to Charmaine Taylor, CLEAR’s senior vice president of operations.

“The average time is 5 minutes or under. What we guarantee is that speed and predictability,” Taylor said. CLEAR kiosks are going up at BWI-Marshall security gates B and D soon. The company said travelers can skip the often long security lines with a touch of the finger or a picture of their iris and a boarding pass. Then, travelers can proceed to where they will be screened by the Transportation Security Administration.

“Today, we don’t do background checks, we don’t assess the risk or anything like that. All we are doing is verifying who you say you are,” Taylor said. That’s done by matching a traveler’s unique fingerprint or iris to their driver’s license or passport. Using similar technology the TSA uses, CLEAR verifies that match when the traveler enrolls either online or at the airport. CLEAR said the information is then encrypted.
“We’re a private company. It’s not stored in any public database or anything like that,” Taylor said.

The company said each CLEAR kiosk will have a helper nearby for troubleshooting to keep things moving. “The process is so quick, we don’t have lines, we don’t accumulate lines. We don’t have the eyeball check of the document and the boarding pass. It’s really the technology that’s much more efficient and faster,” Taylor said.

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