Another example of the fast and loose behavior of today’s wanna be businesses comes with the CLEAR program’s misplaced laptop computer. CLEAR is a security program sanctioned by the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). You may have seen the CLEAR people at airports, pitching their program as a fast-track through airport security. Similar to expedited border crossing programs like Nexus (US-Canadian border) and SENTRI (US-Mexican border) Trusted traveler programs, only owned and operated by a private company, CLEAR is supposed to be as secure as the normal border patrol process. Last week CLEAR “lost” a laptop with the personal information of 33,000 applicants to the security program. Several days later, the missing laptop was “found” in the same office where it was “lost”. The CEO said this:
“We don’t believe the security or privacy of these would-be members will be compromised in any way.”
but he didn’t elaborate on how that could be, address whether or not the data was encrypted, how the data is protected, etc. No audit trail, no explanation of where that laptop was for several days, and apparently no concern beyond getting past this ugly public relations incident. It seems obvious that someone with access to that office knows something about where the laptop went and how it came back, right? We can only hope that someone in our government will look into this breech of security and figue out why it happened and how it can be prevented in the future.