TSA testing a less-revealing software for the full-body scanners
Numerous complaints made the TSA develop new software for the screening devices currently in use. Aim: Maximizing privacy without reducing the detection abilities.
The software is currently being tested at three major airports in the US. Upon finishing the development it is to be installed to all the machines.
The full-body scanners or Advanced Imaging Technology devices, as called by the TSA, are a subject of controversy. While enhancing security, the scanners are accused of being too revealing. Looking at the images they produce, there is very little left for imagination regarding human body. See our previous article for details. In order to silence the civil libertarians' protests, TSA is developing a modesty-saving software.
The upgraded device will not display any passenger image if no potential threat is detected. In case the software evaluates an anomaly, the particular area will be highlighted. A screen will be fitted for the passenger to see the actual image.
Testing at three major airports
Currently, the new software is fitted into scanners at three US airports. Las Vegas, The William B Hartsfield Atlanta International (ATL) and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The current test involves millimeter wave machines only. The backscatter units should receive the upgrade soon. If the tests prove successful, all 500 full-body scanners located across 78 American airports are going to be modified.
Jiří Parimucha, Feb 9, 2011
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