Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Better Than the TSA

I have a weird sense of humor. I am a member of the "Clear" program which allows me to bypass the security wait line at many airports - a privilege I pay $128 a year to exercise. I find it funny that most of my colleagues don't have any issue with me giving a private company all my personal information, fingerprints and a retinal scan - their issue is that I get to avoid the line at the airport while they endure the fabulous trials and tribulations of the TSA. So here is my response to them...


I give them and the TSA my middle finger - literally!!


I was reading a newsgroup from a bunch of security minded moms about the Clear Traveler Program and the disinformation and opinions offered in light of facts was astonishing. Many members of the newsgroup believed that you simply got the card and went right through security without any challenge or authentication of your identity. This could not be farther from the truth. Clear has a very good "AAA" mechanism that involves extensive background checks of participants, submission of all 10 of your fingerprints and a retinal scan. When you go through a Clear line you must provide your federal ID (in my case usually my license or Passport), your Clear Card and either one of your fingerprints or a retinal scan. I use my middle finger - at least the folks at Clear have a sense of humor! After all of that I get to go through the usual TSA screening by following the same guidelines as everyone else - same X-Ray machine - same metal detector - I just got there faster.


So the question I have for my colleagues is simple - "what's your problem?" Is the background check done by Clear not far more thorough than the one done by the TSA? Is having to provide a greater level of authentication better than providing a lesser level of authentication? Is doing all of this at no additional expense to taxpayers through private enterprise better than the bureaucracy and ineptness of a government agency? Why are you so willing to give Disney your fingerprint and then stand in line, but you have a problem doing the same when it really matters? Is the fact I get through security much faster really your issue? So again I ask - "what's your problem?"


I think I know. You have bought into the the politically correct guano that we are all equal in everything we do. Well we aren't and life isn't fair so get over yourself already and when you enroll in Clear use me as your referral so I get a free month (use referral code SCA62585)....oh, and by the way - when they ask you which finger you would like to use for your scan I recommend using the middle one.

3 comments:

Steele Street said...

If you still have to go through security, just like everyone else, what's the point?

Steele Street said...

http://consumerist.com/370003/what-does-a-clear-membership-actually-get-you-at-airport-security

Eric Meadows said...

Jason has some good points and here is my rebuttal:

First...Jason, you know and love the competency of the TSA in general. I know this for a fact and if there was potential that by going through Clear you were able to clear your name with the TSA would it be worth it? I think so...

Next...think of clear as a valet service for security at the airport. The scenarios stated in other articles don't really match my experience with Clear. I have not had to give a retinal scan to clear security yet and they walk me straight to the front of the line - so from my point of view if you are unwilling to use valets, Clear is not for you.

Finally...you don't go through a TSA background check, you go through an FBI background check and then the TSA reviews it.

I still have some lingering concerns about security of the information but Clears privacy policy is clear and serves the consumer of their product.