US rolls out less revealing airport scanners

Feb 01, 2011

The US Transportation Security Administration began rolling out new airport scanner software Tuesday that produces less revealing images of travelers.

The new software "enhances privacy by eliminating passenger-specific images and instead auto-detects potential threat items and indicates their location on a generic outline of a person," the TSA said.

McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas was the first to test the new software, with Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson hub and Ronald Reagan Washington National in the US capital due to have the new program installed in the coming days.

Advanced imaging technology X-ray scanners currently in use at airports around the United States sparked an uproar among travelers because they produce a graphic image of a person's naked body, genitalia and all.

TSA administrator John Pistole said the new software has been found in tests to "provide the same high level of security as current advanced units while further enhancing the privacy protections already in place."

The new software reportedly detects potential threat items and indicates their location on a generic outline that is the same for all passengers.

If no potential threat items are detected, no outline will appear on the TSA agent's monitor -- only the word "OK."

But "areas containing potential threats will require additional screening," the TSA said.

US travelers have complained that the graphic image scanners now in use at 78 US airports showed too many details of the body of the person being scanned and were an invasion of privacy.

Others have worried the scans were unsafe because they expose travelers to low doses of X-rays.

Nearly 500 scanners are currently deployed at US airports, with additional units planned this year.

Explore further: Privacy groups take 2nd hit on license plate data

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Better airport scanners delayed by privacy fears

Dec 28, 2009

(AP) -- High-tech security scanners that might have prevented the Christmas Day attempt to blow up a jetliner have been installed in only a small number of airports around the world, in large part because ...

Airline attack could lead to more scanners

Dec 31, 2009

(AP) -- The Christmas Day attack on a jetliner over Detroit, combined with technological improvements to protect people's sense of modesty, could lead to dramatically wider use of full-body scanners that ...

TSA App tries to ease air travel pain

Nov 23, 2010

(AP) -- It won't save you from "enhanced patdowns," but an iPhone app from the TSA tries to ease the pain of air travel by offering guidance on prohibited items, security wait times and packing tips.

Airport body scanners spreading across US

Mar 05, 2010

(AP) -- The Transportation Security Administration on Friday announced nine more U.S. airports that will receive body-scanning technology, as the U.S. heightens its effort to detect hidden explosives and ...

Recommended for you

Privacy groups take 2nd hit on license plate data

10 hours ago

A California judge's ruling against a tech entrepreneur seeking access to records kept secret in government databases detailing the comings and goings of millions of cars in the San Diego area via license plate scans was ...

Scots' inventions are fuel for independence debate

Sep 17, 2014

What has Scotland ever done for us? Plenty, it turns out. The land that gave the world haggis and tartan has produced so much more, from golf and television to Dolly the Sheep and "Grand Theft Auto."

White House backs use of body cameras by police

Sep 16, 2014

Requiring police officers to wear body cameras is one potential solution for bridging deep mistrust between law enforcement and the public, the White House said, weighing in on a national debate sparked by the shooting of ...

Chinese city creates cellphone sidewalk lane

Sep 15, 2014

Taking a cue from an American TV program, the Chinese city of Chongqing has created a smartphone sidewalk lane, offering a path for those too engrossed in messaging and tweeting to watch where they're going.

Coroner: Bitcoin exchange CEO committed suicide

Sep 15, 2014

A Singapore Coroner's Court has found that the American CEO of a virtual currency exchange committed suicide earlier this year in Singapore because of work and personal issues.

User comments : 0