CLEVELAND — Security is going to be tight at the MLB All-Star Game in downtown Cleveland. One company that’s part of the effort offers you a faster way to get into the festivities. But is it safe?
"You look in here and it will get your eyes when you have the right distance,” said Jack Hereth, a frequent flyer who has been using CLEAR technology for years. He now lives in Atlanta but was born in Bedford. We caught up with him at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. "(CLEAR is) faster. It gets you through more quickly. And most of the time, the lines are much shorter,” Hereth told us.
CLEAR is a private company. The technology identifies you through eye scans and/or fingerprints. That way you can bypass the piles of people waiting to show their plane tickets and driver's licenses before going through security.
“One of the things that has fascinated me is just how fast this technology has moved," said Alex Hamerstone. He is a Cybersecurity Expert with TrustedSec based in Strongsville. He pointed out the technology behind biometrics is not just for James Bond anymore. You can open your phone with thumbprints and even facial recognition.
And now some of that same technology will help you get into stadiums for events like the All-Star Game. Some people are worried, though, about where your personal data is kept after the scans.
"Should people be concerned about that?” we asked Hamerstone.
“It's interesting. You always look at what's possible versus what's probable,” he told us.
The last thing anyone needs is to have their vital information compromised. Then, there’s someone running around pretending to be you.
“CLEAR is a security identity platform," said Ken Cornick. Heis CLEAR's President and Co-founder. He said that platform is safety act certified by the Department of Homeland Security complying with the Federal Information Security Management Act or FISMA. It’s a high standard to achieve. "We have a layered approach to security data and that includes numerous technologies, processes, software,” said Cornick. “Each and every day we wake up thinking about that."
TSA, by the way, is constantly using biometrics. In fact, it has tens-of-millions of people's pictures and other identifying characteristics in its files to track criminals, for example, coming through airports. Local law enforcement in Nevada recently used biometrics to catch "a violent criminal who escaped from prison 25 years ago."
"You're always on camera these days. Always,” said Hamerstone.
But some people like Hereth are comfortable with CLEAR. He's even signed up his spouse. "So, when we travel, we can flow and go… It's a family affair,” he added with a laugh.
Cornick also told us his company will not share or sell your data.
The stadium experience with CLEAR is free including the All-Star Game and, if you like it, you can upgrade to the airport services for $179 per year.