Board Member Profile: Howard Kass
How did you first get involved in the biometrics industry?
I’ve been focused on reducing risk, avoiding uncertainty, and building private-public partnerships for my entire career so when I heard about the opportunity at CLEAR, it sounded like a perfect fit. Immediately prior to joining CLEAR, I was doing regulatory, legal and government affairs at one of the major airlines and before that, regulatory and economic analysis at TSA. One could say I’ve been working on the periphery and building to this moment all along.
As you look at the biometrics industry today, what do you believe the biggest opportunities are in the coming 12-24 months?
CLEAR believes that you are you, and you shouldn’t need to show a driver's license, credit card, health insurance card or some other form of ID just to prove it. The reality is that relying on a plastic card to prove your identity or complete a transaction doesn’t make things safer or easier – it just slows things down and introduces potential risk. Biometrics can solve these and other issues to make everyday experiences easier and more secure - and that’s a big opportunity.
With so much press attention being paid to biometric issues including facial recognition, what do you think federal policymakers need to know about the technology and its use by law enforcement agencies?
CLEAR only has information about members who choose to enroll in CLEAR and use our service, and our technology isn't used to scan crowds indiscriminately. Therefore, I’m not the best person to speak to how law enforcement uses other companies’ technology.
What federal government agencies stand out as leaders on biometrics deployment, and why?
We love all of our government agency partners equally so it’s not possible to pick just one.
What do you think is the public’s single biggest misconception about biometrics, and how would you correct the record?
You can’t paint all of the companies within the biometrics industry with the same brush. CLEAR believes that consumers should be able to choose if and when their personal information is collected, and they should also be able to choose how that information is used.
As a board member of IdTA , what do you hope to accomplish for the organization, and the industry?
I want to further educate policymakers and legislators about the benefits of biometrics and help strengthen the voice of our industry in Washington, DC so CLEAR and our partners can continue delivering innovations that make everyday experiences safer and easier.