Luckily, Machetera isn’t a frequent flier anymore. However, her recent vacation allowed her the chance to review current events at a couple of U.S. airports, and she can report that the recent airline cutbacks have definitely not improved the mood of the remaining employees, who generally behave as though thinking costs extra. Not that Machetera blames them. When Delta is charging $4.50 for a plastic bag, why not get in on the deal?
Oddly enough, the mood of the TSA employees seems to have improved in direct proportion to the decline in courtesy at the airlines. Perhaps it’s an indicator of who’s in control now.
With that in mind, Machetera calls your attention to the latest in brilliant ideas for airport security – the Fly Clear card. With this card in hand one can supposedly avoid the indignities of passing through airline security with the masses, and according to one breathless review, feel “like a rockstar.” Actually, you ought to feel like a moron, but more on that in a minute. All one needs to do if you’re not Evo Morales or Robert Johnson is show up at a designated office with two forms of ID in hand and submit to a rectal search, fingerprinting and an iris scan, fork over $128 (for one year’s worth of clearance) and voilá, you’re free to breeze through a special express aisle reserved for idiots just like yourself with a taste for fascism. If you have children under 12, they can hand over their biometric data for free. Suckers!
One indication of the thought process that went into this is that initially, people who showed up with the card containing their supposedly unique iris scans were also asked to provide i.d.; after some period of time, they figured out that this was a bit redundant since the black market trade in harvested eyeballs hasn’t really gotten going yet. Although when it does we will probably blame the Chinese. But what else can you expect when Lockheed Martin and GE are involved? (By the way, Machetera noticed that the GE manufactured machines that blow air up one’s dress were missing from the airports this time around – a victim of bleeding edge weapons technology?)
You’d have to be at least as senseless as the people who thought this up to bend over and offer up your very personal data that way, with no assurance whatsoever as to how it will be used, or more to the point, protected. That is, assuming you have no intention of blowing yourself up along with the plane. If the latter is your plan, well, what happens to your data is really the least of your worries, isn’t it?
Oh but surely the Fly Clear people have a big liability policy against that. Don’t they?