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: US safety agency offers online recall check

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

Why conspiracy theorists won't give up on MH17 and MH370

11 hours ago

A huge criminal investigation is underway in the Netherlands, following the downing of flight MH17. Ten Dutch prosecutors and 200 policemen are involved in collecting evidence to present at the International Criminal Court in the Hague. The inv ...

Here's how you find out who shot down MH17

14 hours ago

More than a month has passed since Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed with the loss of all 298 lives on board. But despite the disturbances at the crash site near the small town of Grabovo, near Donetsk ...

Assange talks of leaving embassy, sowing confusion

Aug 18, 2014

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sowed confusion Monday with an announcement that appeared to indicate he was leaving his embassy bolt hole, but his spokesman later clarified that that would not happen unless ...

User comments : 0