After that second post, Steven Brill, CEO of Verified Identity Pass, Inc. (VIP runs the Clear Registered Traveler program) contacted me to dispute my conclusions. Brill was very generous with his time in helping me to understand what Clear does and is trying to do.
That was nothing unusual; I often get followup calls from the companies behind products and services I mention here.
But shortly after the first post, I got a call from Ellen Howe in the public-affairs office of the Transportation Security Administration. Apparently, government bureaucracies can be even more responsive than private companies. (I also know a smart, effective manager in the Corporate Communications division of the Department of Homeland Security, TSA's parent agency. Assuming this isn't purely a coincidence, I hope the rest of the Federal government follows DHS's lead in hiring good people for these important positions.)
Howe was correcting a factual error in my first post, but as I explained in the second entry, correcting the error only strengthened my original argument, which Howe agreed with.
Having discussed the issue at great length with the two involved organizations, I feel I'm in a better position to explain the problems I see with the Clear program. To me, there are two essential assumptions behind Brill's vision for Clear:… Read more