Having begun to expand from biometric airport screening to sports venue access and even biometric payments in recent years, CLEAR is now poised to move into the public health space with a new biometric screening service tailored for the age of COVID-19.
Called Health Pass by CLEAR, the service will arrive this week in the form of a mobile app. Those who decide to enroll will be prompted to authenticate through the app by uploading a selfie and pictures of official ID, which will then be compared using facial recognition. From there, each user is prompted to fill out a short questionnaire on symptoms related to the novel coronavirus. This will essentially create a biometric and health status profile.
Businesses, meanwhile, can implement CLEAR screening systems in which individuals seeking to gain entry will be prompted to share their health profile through the Health Pass app, allowing the access control system to accept or reject them based on that profile.
While end users could obviously enter misleading health information in the Health Pass app, CLEAR says its long-term aim is to let end users link official COVID-19 test results with their Health Pass profiles, paving the way for the Health Pass to become a kind of immunity passport as various businesses look for ways to reopen with appropriate public health safeguards.
This could thus become a potentially important new business line for CLEAR. The company has been building a strong profile for itself in the world of air travel in recent years through an annual subscription platform in which users would enroll face, fingerprint, and iris biometrics in order to get faster screening at participating airports. More recently, it has adapted this concept to major venues and especially sports stadiums, and has even experimented with letting end users link their biometrics directly to payment accounts, allowing them to buy things at concession stands with a simple biometric scan.
As Axios reports, there are various concerns about the privacy and public health implications of this kind of ‘immunity passport’ solution. But CLEAR says it is already in discussion with groups including the New York Mets and Las Vegas’ COVID-19 recovery task force about implementing Health Pass, suggesting that there is already a healthy interest in getting this technology in place as some states move forward with plans to ease COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.
May 12, 2020 – by Alex Perala