A missing laptop has caused the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to suspend its Clear program; which travellers can sign up to and register their details to speed up security checks.
The laptop contained the personal information of over 33,000 people who had signed up to the program and was lost at San Francisco airport on 26 July. It was totally unencrypted and, while it has now been found (in the same room that it was originally lost in), it is not known if the information was copied.
"The Transportation Security Administration announced today that it is suspending Verified Identity Pass, Inc (VIP) – the company that operates Registered Traveller (RT) programs under the brand name Clear – from enrolling new applicants in RT due to vulnerabilities discovered in the company's storage of Clear applicants' sensitive personal information," said the organisation in a statement.
The TSA has now instructed San Francisco to order VIP to let everyone on the program know that their names, addresses, birth dates and some applicants' driver's licence numbers and passport information may have been accessed by third parties.
"We don't believe the security or privacy of these would-be members will be compromised in any way," said VIP chief executive Steven Brill said in a statement.
"But out of an abundance of caution and in keeping with a policy of always levelling with our members, we wanted to issue this warning regardless of which state law may or may not require it.''
New registrations for the program have now been stopped but existing members of the scheme will be able to use it normally.
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