TSA Tests New, Less Invasive Full Body Scanner at Select Airports
Yesterday, the TSA introduced new software for airport security body scanners, in an attempt to enhance traveler privacy without sacrificing air travel safety.
Unlike other full body scans, the new software only displays images of generic male and female figures, and not revealing, detailed images of individual passengers. If the system detects something suspicious, screeners will be shown one of these standard images, with the troubled area highlighted. The TSA has already begun using the software at the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, and, over the course of the next few days, will expand the test program to Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, and Reagan National in Washington, D.C.
If the tests go smoothly, the agency says it will eventually deploy the software in all body scanners at U.S. airports.
Similar scanning technology has already been in use across several European airports, but the TSA had insisted that those scanners suffered from potentially significant flaws. Now, though, the agency says it's worked out those issues after collaborating with scanner manufacturers and experts in the U.S. "We believe it addresses the privacy issues that have been raised since the AIT [advanced imaging technology] equipment has been deployed since the fall of '07," TSA Administrator John Pistole said. "We have high hopes for it, but obviously we want to make sure that we are getting it right in terms of not only lab testing ... but also operationally tested in these airports."