TSA doing away with full-view body scans

The Transportation Security Administration is loading its full-body scanners with new software that will eliminate detailed and potentially graphic images of travelers.

In a July 20 announcement, TSA said that the software upgrade will enhance privacy for people going through millimeter wave Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) machines at airport security checkpoints.

According to the TSA, the new Automated Target Recognition (ATR) software automatically detects and highlights the location of possible threat items that resemble weapons against a generic human outline, rather than a detailed image of the person. Over the coming months, the agency will install the upgrade in all AIT machines in U.S. airports.

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The new software is a response to complaints and leaked images of AIT images of passengers’ naked bodies. TSA also said the software upgrade will also eliminate the need for a separate officer to view scanner images in a separate room.

Like the current version of AIT, if the upgrade detects a metallic or non-metallic item that may be a weapon or explosives, a TSA agent will then pat down the passenger.

“This software upgrade enables us to continue providing a high level of security through advanced imaging technology screening, while improving the passenger experience at checkpoints,” said TSA Administrator John Pistole in a statement.

In February 2011, TSA tested the new software at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, Las Vegas McCarran International and Ronald Reagan Washington National airports.

There are currently about 500 imaging technology scanners at 78 airports across the U.S. While the upgrades apply only to millimeter-wave AIT units, the TSA plans to test similar software for its backscatter units in the fall.

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Reader Comments

Wed, May 23, 2012 tapu bangladesh


Wed, Aug 3, 2011

TSA has never caught any "terrorists". Somebody is making a whole bunch of money on this scam.

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 Paul

Personally, I don't trust this software to do what a human could do so much better. Look at OCR software, or speech-to-text, or text-to-speech software. Software isn't good at doing very basic human things like looking and listening, and identifying what you found. And we're entrusting software to do exactly that, because we're scared that a human doing the job might see other things too. This isn't security; it's the illusion of security. "A false sense of security is worse than no security at all"

Mon, Aug 1, 2011

So,the machine still does or can take the same image - there's been no clarification on that point. Unless they change out the hardware (not going to happen... $$$$) the assertion above is true. Just how the machine processes that output is just window dressing. It seems fairly certain that the same electrons/bits are being processed from the imaging hardware - mayvbe more-, sent to a computer, and processed to provide the graphical output. I will gladly fly naked. That's not the issue here. Anyone who believes that the images cannot be stored, or that the system is impenetrable to malicious (government or non-government) activity needs to become informed about the state of computer [in]security. Any imprint (data record) you leave in your daily activities can and will [someday] be used against you. Assuming the risk that "probable cause" will be required in the future to use this data is ripe for an "a**_u_me" outcome.

Fri, Jul 29, 2011 G-Man

The scanners are just another fact that we are losing the battle on terrorism. The US Government has missed that fact and taken steps that affect the US citizen. We are being treated as if we are the terrorist. TSA needs to look at the definition of Terrorism... use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments

Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/terrorism#ixzz1TUdKB7V0

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