The Transportation Security Agency has prohibited Verified Identity Pass Inc., the operator of the Clear Registered Traveler program, from enrolling new RT customers after a computer laptop containing the unencrypted personal information of 33,000 RT enrollees went missing last month. The Registered Traveler program allows air travelers to complete background checks so that they can use expedited security lanes at airports.
While the laptop has since been found, Verified’s suspension continues while the TSA investigates the circumstances behind the disappearance of the laptop, which was taken from a locked office at San Francisco International Airport.
“We’re glad to confirm that a preliminary investigation shows no personal information was compromised,” said Verified Identity Pass CEO Steven Brill in a statement. Brill went on to say it appears the laptop was not accessed from the time it went missing until it was found last week. The laptop has been handed over to TSA for forensic examination.
In addition to suspending enrollment, TSA has ordered Verified to stop using any unencrypted computers and to secure those computers until encryption software can be installed. Verified is also required to submit to an independent audit to ensure those security measures have been put into place. According to TSA, once it has determined that Verified is in compliance with those security requirements, it will be allowed to continue enrolling customers.
Current Clear customers will not be affected by the enrollment suspension, and fast-lane service at participating airports has continued without disruption.