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October 26, 2012

TSA Implements New Technology in Seven Airports

By Tabitha Naylor, Contributing Writer

The TSA has gotten more than a little intrusive in recent years, landing the group in some hot water with citizens who feel as though they have been violated. Now, it’s starting to replace the full-body X-ray scanners with a machine that renders a body image similar to a cartoon, widely considered to be a less intrusive option.

The TSA has been under pressure to change the machines it uses or the software the machines use, as the current X-ray machines produce a blurry naked image.

The new technology produces, instead, an image that resembles a mannequin and highlights areas that need to be searched.

They have already installed these machines at seven different airports: Los Angeles International, New York LaGuardia, New York Kennedy, Boston Logan, Chicago O’Hare, Orlando, and Charlotte. Although the government will be replacing machines it has already spent a lot of money on – approximately $170,000 each – the new machines will reduce costs by requiring fewer people to operate. 


Image via Shutterstock

Other benefits, besides eliminating controversial human pat-downs, include taking up less space and completing a faster scan, which will expedite the security line process.

Privacy expert at the American Civil Liberties Union Jay Stanley thinks this may hold promise for a future in which the TSA recognizes individual rights. “Hopefully this represents the beginning of a phase-out of the X-ray type scanners, which are more privacy intrusive and consider to be surrounded by health questions,” he said.

Representative Mike Rogers (News - Alert) of Alabama is unsatisfied with the current moves the TSA is making, as smaller airports will most likely inherit the offending machines as they are replaced in the highest traffic airports.

“Travelers deserve to see a concrete timeline for implementing privacy software on all (scanning) machines and a commitment from TSA to sponsor an independent analysis of their potential health impact,” he said.




Edited by Braden Becker
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