Convenience Versus Privacy: What Are The Risks Of Biometric Scanning At The Airport

You’ll save time in the airport security line, but your biometric information could fall into the wrong hands.

By Alexandra HartAugust 1, 2017 7:21 am,

Winding your way through a security line is not most people’s idea of a good time. In three Texas airports, there is an alternative. It’s called Clear. The cost is $179 per year, prints from all ten fingers, two iris scans and a face scan. Clear uses biometric scanning to match the information you submit to your face and fingers at the airport.

Michelle DeMooy, director of privacy and data at the Center for Democracy and Technology says the price of convenience can be high. Biometric information you provide to the Clear program can’t be taken back, and it’s public.

“A password you can keep to yourself. Things like earprints and iris scans can be accessed by the public potentially,” DeMooy says. “…A lot of the companies using this kind of information are private, which means they’re not governed by anything except their privacy policies or their terms of use.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– Why the technology is popular in airports and sports stadiums

– How you should decide between convenience and personal privacy

– What risks you face when submitting to biometric scanning


Written by Shelly Brisbin.