Cell phone as boarding pass in Houston Airport

Barbara La Dollis writes about an experiment using cell phones as boarding passes at George Bush Airport in Houston, Texas USA. I think only Continental Airlines is using this right now, but I bet this will catch on fast.

This is a good idea because a cell phone is a very secure, info rich, “intelligent” environment. Most of us guard our phones carefully and report them when missing. The phone could easily contain an extensive amount of additional important information to expedite security and boarding, and ideally the airline could even more easily keep us informed of changes or issues.

Why not extend this to security? I’m sure my phone number and ID are already tagged in some TSA database, so why not pre-screen those who choose to participate as follows?

* Phone company is given permission to give TSA my data.
* I upload a set of photos for the master database. This data is also on the phone.
* At flight check in, internet or bluetooth or even a physical inspection of the phone is matched to the master database, pinpointing me as the travel guy who has been profiled already as “safe”.
* Only those who opt in are profiled, and anyone can opt out of the system once in, and items like credit card data are strictly off limits.

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