Steven Brill has another grand plan.

Commentary about business and finance.
Dec. 22 2005 6:53 PM

The End of the Line

Steven Brill's plan to improve airport security—and save you 30 minutes.

(Continued from Page 1)

So, will Verified Identity be the next Court TV? Or will it be the next Brill's Content?So far, it's a small business: 12,000 customers paying $80 a year adds up to less than $1 million in annual revenues. And the process of signing up individual airports is laborious. Plus, there's some deep-pocketed competition coming. Biometrics company Saflink earlier this month said it was forming a partnership with Microsoft, Johnson Controls, Expedia, and other companies to offer a similar service. Last week, Laura Meckler reported in the Wall Street Journal that Unisys is interested in the market as well.*

On the other hand, with several hundred airports and millions of frequent flyers who would be glad to pay to avoid inconvenience, there's probably room for several competitors. And the risk that the government would simply decide to offer this service on its own seems low. In November, Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security Kip Hawley said the government is "committed to maximizing private sector involvement in the operations of the Registered Traveler Program."

Advertisement

Four years after Brill's Content folded, Brill may have launched a product that lots of people are willing to subscribe to.

Correction, Dec. 23, 2005: In the original version of this article, Dan Gross misspelled Wall Street Journal reporter Laura Meckler's name. He also undercounted the number of registered traveler program pilot projects. Initially he wrote that there were four. There were five. Both errors have been corrected.

Daniel Gross is a longtime Slate contributor. His most recent book is Better, Stronger, Faster. Follow him on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 8:38 AM An Implanted Wearable Gadget Isn’t as Crazy as You’d Think Products like New Deal Design’s UnderSkin may be the future.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 21 2014 7:00 AM Watch the Moon Eat the Sun: The Partial Solar Eclipse on Thursday, Oct. 23
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.