Clear Card Security Breached
The company that’s contracted to provide Clear Card, the TSA’s handy-dandy system for screening out terrorists (or, at least, providing people willing to shell out 150 bucks slightly shorter lines) has managed to lose its customers’ sensitive data and compromise the entire system.
The company that runs the Clear system, which speeds customers through airport screenings, has been prevented from enrolling new customers by the T.S.A. after a security breach affecting some 33,000 customers.
Verified Identity System’s Clear program allows passengers to scan their smart cards at a kiosk for a speedier security screening. T.S.A. spokesperson Ann Davis told CBS an unencrypted computer storing the personal information on the cards went missing from SFO on July 26th.
Davis said VIP is a privately run company that the airport provides with background checks of enrolled customers. Now the company must suspend new enrollments, notify affected customers, and secures computers until they can install encryption.
Current Clear customers will still be able to use their cards while the breach is sorted out.
This isn’t really surprising, considering that the geniuses behind this system didn’t figure out that it would be useful to include a photo ID on the card, something that would have been obvious to the average 5-year-old. This, even though they actually take your picture for no apparent reason.
Then again, coming back from Canada Saturday morning, my wife and I had to go through U.S. Customs on the Canadian side of the border, standing in an inordinately long line. No worries: There’s a separate line for those who have submitted themselves for security pre-screening and obtained a card from TSA. D’oh: But not the Clear card but rather something called “NEXUS” which apparently only works for those going between the U.S. and Canada.
You can’t make this stuff up.