Thursday, August 16, 2007

New Biometric System Introduced at SFO

The new SFO fast-pass technology Clear was launched yesterday to much fanfare.

Clear is part of a new wave of biometrically-based technologies being deployed at airports across the United States. These technologies provide airport customers with expedited security lines in exchange for voluntarily submitting their fingerprint, iris, and retinal data, which are linked to the customer’s other personal information (see Airports International, vol 40 no 3 pp 28-39 for further information).

While the federal government monitors these programs under the Registered Traveler's program (RT), the creation of biometric databases is, apart for privacy issues, a cause for concern for some. One such critic is Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben who notes that, when biometrics was first implemented, it was used solely for the control and regulation of recidivist criminals.

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