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Idemia lobbies TSA over Clear identity checks amid airport market share competition

Airport biometrics expand in India, Miami
Idemia lobbies TSA over Clear identity checks amid airport market share competition

Digital identity giant Idemia, which provides biometric devices used in background checks for TSA PreChecks as well as supplies the agency’s ID-scanning kiosks, is lobbying for lawmakers to make ID checks mandatory for Clear‘s members, according to Politico.

The lobbying is bound to increase tensions, after Clear, along with Telos ID, won contracts to provide PreCheck background checks, which could cut into Idemia’s market share. This is another chapter between the two companies’ fight to win increasing shares of the airport security market.

While an ID check doesn’t stop Clear passengers from skipping to the front of the line, some believe it could slow the process enough to hurt the company’s ability to charge $189 each year for the service.

Clear said that it has been working on a system that would integrate biometric screening with TSA’s machines, which would remove the need for a separate ID check, but there isn’t a set time for when it would be available.

Clear has recently had multiple security breaches at airports, including an incident where one passenger got through security by digging a boarding pass out of the trash. According to a spokesperson for Clear, TSA has reverified the IDs of 4.7 million Clear travelers in the last six months without citing any issues.

Facial recognition for travel reaches more airports in India, gates in Miami

Digi Yatra terminals will be launched at six more airports, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Lucknow, Jaipur, and Guwahati, to be exact, during August of 2023, according to a release from the Ministry of Civil Aviation. A total of thirteen airports will have the Digi Yatra system.

As of August 10th, the system has been used by almost 3.5 million passengers, with the mobile app user base reaching almost 1.3 million.

The Digi Yatra process uses facial recognition to validate identities and does not centrally store passengers’ PII data. Passengers’ data is instead encrypted and stored in the wallet of their smartphone. Data in the airport’s system is deleted within 24 hours of the traveler’s departure.

Moreover, Miami International Airport (MIA) is in the process of implementing facial recognition to at least 20 more international departure gates, the biggest implementation since the airport began trials in 2018.

A small touchless camera will take a picture of each person and match it to a passport on file, eliminating the need to show a boarding pass.

Next, MIA is looking to implement biometric self-service bag drop to streamline luggage checks.

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