10,000th Customer Uses Biometrics Program at Orlando, Fla., Airport

Nov. 1--Clear, the program at Orlando International Airport that uses biometrics to speed pre-registered passengers around long security lines, announced its 10,000th customer Monday.

Verified Identity Pass Inc., which began Clear in July, will debut a new marketing campaign today aimed at luring more travelers as it attempts to expand the private program into more airports nationwide.

Orlando is now the only city in which users can bypass security lines. In September, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration ended several publicly run pilot programs in Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Washington, D.C.

Steven Brill, chief executive officer of Verified Identity Pass, said Monday that he expects announcements that more airports will offer a private program in the coming weeks.

Customer feedback in Orlando, he said, has been positive.

"The only complaint we have is, 'How come you're not in more airports?' and we say, 'Yeah, you're right, we want to be in more airports,' " said Brill, who also teaches journalism at Yale University and was the founder and previous chief executive of CourtTV, the cable network.

Brill would not discuss which other cities he expected to offer programs soon, "except to say it will show remarkable geographic diversity" in the United States.

When other airports announce the start of known-traveler security programs such as Clear, Brill will likely have to bid to run those programs as he did in Orlando. Right now, no competitors operate similar systems.

From the time a customer is greeted by a Clear employee, the biometric verification and total security processing takes about 14 seconds, Brill said.

Customers pay an annual fee of $79.95, share some of their background information and allow their fingerprints and iris scans to be stored digitally so they can be quickly identified at special airport checkpoints.

Verified Identity Pass said the company does not track customers' movements and that personal data are kept under the strictest of privacy controls.

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