Airport scanners made less revealing says TSA

by Alister POOLE on February 2, 2011

US aviation security officials said Tuesday that a new pilot programme is being developed to combat the uproar caused by full-body airport scanners.

The scanners, which are being used to conduct security checks of travellers, have led to widespread criticisms over airport security’s invasion of privacy. A new software has been developed, however, that aims to produce images that are more modest.

The Transportation Security Administration deployed the new software to three US airports, which will trial the new technology. The software alerts officials with an image of a generic male or female figure only if a breach is detected.

The agency has come under fire with the introduction of full-body scanners – which are designed to highlight any weapons or explosives – because they depict a revealing body scan of the individual in the scanner. Travelers and other civil liberties advocates have widely opposed the scanners on the grounds that they are unconstitutional.

TSA Administrator John Pistole said that the new software affectively addressed the privacy issue. He adds that the new software is currently being piloted at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

TSA is also using the new programme in Las Vegas at McCarran International Airport and is expected to expand the use of the software to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as well.

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