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More security issues for Clear

Biometric airport kiosk deployments expand in India, France
More security issues for Clear

Two previously unreported security breaches are raising new questions about the security of airport authentication firm Clear’s service. In both cases, a company employee escorted passengers through security who were not enrolled in the Clear program and without checking their IDs.

One instance was discovered when an erroneously escorted passenger noticed their boarding pass was for a different airport. In the other, a person used a discarded boarding pass to clear security.

A United States congressional aide said neither person boarded a plane, according to Politico.

Some members of Congress want the Transportation Security Administration to require that all Clear subscribers present IDs to an airport TSA agent.

Clear‘s business model is prescreening customers who pay a $189 subscription for the privilege of not standing in TSA’s snaking manual authentication lines. Instead, they can offer a fingerprint or iris biometrics scan and shave a great deal of time of time in a busy airport.

The TSA notified Clear in early June that subscribers would need to present IDs after a 30-day notice and comment period. The agency is evaluating those comments.

Clear has had similar problems before, with one subscriber in 2022 almost boarding a flight under a fake identity. The person was only caught after a subsequent inspection found live ammunition among the person’s possessions.

Some critics voiced concern about Clear’s biometric enrollment methods after it was revealed that showed identification photos where faces were not in the frame.

Clear responded, saying the photos weren’t part of enrollment and that the company now relies only on fingerprints or eye scans to verify identity on the day of travel.

Meanwhile, in India, the Jaipur Airport will soon introduce the Digi Yatra program, which will allow domestic travelers to use the Face Pods biometric boarding system for check-in, security checks and boarding, according to the Economic Times. The pods will eliminate manual verification of tickets and IDs at multiple checkpoints.

The program was created by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and will begin with only one dedicated entry route for those who chose the Digi Yatra boarding process. It already is operational at airports in the nation’s New Delhi, Bengaluru, and Varanasi in December 2022.

Also, the Air France-KLM group is upgrading its 400 self-service kiosks in Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. Kiosks will now be able to connect with mobile devices and terminals.

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