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Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Your form of identification to get onto flights and into live events could be your own body.

Driving the news: That's what CLEAR, the biometric security company that went public Wednesday, is betting.

Why it matters: Technology has advanced to the point where we can pay for lunch by walking out of the store or send money to anyone, anywhere in seconds. But some things are stuck in the past — for example, it's a huge pain to leave IDs or health insurance cards at home — and that's what CLEAR is trying to change.

  • "This is about using your eyes as your driver's license or your boarding pass," Caryn Seidman-Becker, CEO of CLEAR, tells Axios from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. "We shouldn’t be giving people plastic cards with numbers to go get health care."
  • Even the NYSE ticker symbol for the company is "YOU."

The big picture: CLEAR charges a $179 per year subscription to securely store biometric data that confirms your identity. Before the pandemic, it was mainly a tool for frequent flyers to skip airport lines, but CLEAR found a new lane during the pandemic.

  • The company added a feature called Health Pass that worked with health data aggregators to access and store COVID test results or vaccination status so users could display that information to get into venues or to travel.
  • The pandemic became a turning point. CLEAR's revenue jumped 20% to $231 million in 2020, CNBC reports, even as air travel cratered.

But, but, but: A digital identity company like CLEAR raises privacy concerns, too. "We're in this new era of biodata collection," says Amy Webb of the Future Today Institute, an era that has been accelerated and normalized by the pandemic.

  • CLEAR has a strict privacy policy, Seidman-Becker says: "We will not sell or rent your data."

Go deeper

Amazon's palm-print collection stirs Senate qualms

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A bipartisan group of senators wants to know how Amazon is protecting data privacy and security as it promotes a new palm-print recognition system that will allow consumers to pay for in-store purchases with a wave of the hands.

Why it matters: Amazon's move into biometrics opens up the tech giant to additional Washington scrutiny on a new front.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

State Department orders evacuation of U.S. diplomats' families from Ukraine

From left, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Chargés d'Affaires in Ukraine Kristina Kvien during a meeting with Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv. Photo: Yevhen Liubimov/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The State Department will begin evacuating families and non-essential staff from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv this week, according to a travel advisory published Sunday evening.

Why it matters: The move underscores U.S. fears that a Russian invasion could destabilize Ukraine and threaten embassy's ability to assist Americans.

Perfect storm brewing for extreme politicians

Data: Axios research; Table: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Redistricting and a flood of departing incumbents are paving the way for more extreme candidates in this year's midterm elections.

Driving the news: At least 19 House districts in 12 states are primed to attract such candidates — hard partisans running in strongly partisan districts — according to an Axios analysis of districts as measured by the Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index (PVI).