The corporate travel group at work sent out an email recently to apprise me of a great corporate perk.
We all had the chance to sign up for a service that will allow us to bypass security lines at most major airports around the country.
If you've flown recently, you've probably seen the booths for this company, Clear, popping up at airports near you. I've seen them in San Francisco, Atlanta and New York.
I only travel two or three times a year, but after my most recent experience at the Atlanta airport my interest in such a service was piqued. Who needs, thought I, a four hour security ordeal?
So I nibble on the bait sent out in the email and go to the Clear website for more info. The price, $130 bucks, is a bit steep, especially for a infrequent traveler like myself. My company wouldn't pick up the expense, but I might be able to justify it anyway based on some vacation travel we're planning for later in the year.
So I read on, and here's where they lose me.
Part of the "enrollment" process is that you have to give at least two pieces of approved government-issued identification to some stranger at one of their airport kiosks. Also, you have to voluntarily allow them to capture images of your irises and fingerprints, as well as a photograph.
So you're basically paying $130 to add your ID (finger prints and retinal scan) to a database that you can be damn sure will get into government hands -- maybe added to a list of some kind?
Now my knowledge of history isn't as good as, say, a San Francisco free-Tibet hippie freak, but I'm pretty sure that this kind of list would be similar to the kinds of list that people with names like Hitler and Stalin used.
And even if I'm wrong on that count, I KNOW that this kind of thing has been a significant concept in all kinds of post-apocalyptic dystopian literature and movies.
Look, I'm too paranoid to even use my real name on an inconsequential blog read by a bunch of losers (no, not you, you're the cool one). I'm still trying to figure out how to stop the NSA from tracking my Google searches. I need to focus on making sure my own government isn't using the British traffic cameras to spy on me.
There's no way a tinfoil hat-wearing, government-not-trusting, X-Files-believing suspicious sunuvabich like me is going to freely turn over my freaking retinal scan to the gubmint!
Don't even waste my time.
Now, I gotta go renew my Hen House shopper rewards card.
tagged: clear, privacy, travel, retina scan, San Francisco, New York, Atlanta