Airport security speedup program to relaunch

May 4, 2010 SAMANTHA BOMKAMP , AP Transportation Writer

(AP) -- The Clear program, which allowed members to breeze through airport security before it abruptly shut down last year, is expected to be up and running again by the fall.

The company was taken over by Alclear LLC, whose board includes Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of the U.S. . Alclear bought Clear's former owner, Verified Identity Pass, which filed for bankruptcy.

When the program shut down in June, there was a lot of concern among members because of the sensitive personal data they volunteered in exchange for quick passage through security gates.

Although the former owner, Verified Identity Pass, was private, Clear had to report personal information to the Transportation Security Administration.

The data is currently stored by a large unnamed security company. Former Clear customers will soon be sent a notice, asking if they want their personal data transferred to Alclear. If not, the data will be destroyed.

To join, passengers must be fingerprinted and have their irises scanned for positive identification, plus turn over information including that the company shares with the TSA. In return, they get excess to shorter security lines at about 20 airports across the country.

Alclear said in a statement Tuesday that the subscription terms of nearly 160,000 previous members will be honored. Enrollment for new members will start this summer. It did not say how many airports will have the new version of the service.

A Clear membership will cost $179 for unlimited use.

Clear grew out of the Transportation Administration's Registered Traveler program. It was founded in 2003 by Steven Broil, the businessman behind media ventures such as court and American Lawyer magazine. Broil left the company in February when a group of investors took control of the company.

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