TSA working on less invasive full-body scanners
BOSTON -- The Transportation Safety Administration is now looking at new ways to address passenger's concerns about privacy.
Several travelers across the country are squirming at just how personal the TSA’s enhanced pat downs can be.
They are only performed if air travelers refuse to go through a full body scanner, which many complain show too much.
Full body scanners take images that are projected into a locked room about 75 feet away, where they can be stored, and the screener doesn’t know who you are. It only knows if you are carrying something potentially dangerous, but it also outlines your body right down to your underwear.
"I guess you kind of feel the invasion of privacy," said one woman.
"As long as they take the picture, you go through and you're fine, we’re good. But when those pictures end up on the Internet, I could see why people are a little frustrated," said Shaun Priest, a traveler.
Hearing those concerns, TSA officials are testing other systems, like one in Amsterdam, that don't show bodies in detail.
"We want to address privacy as fast as we can most effectively, and not to degrade the effectiveness of the machines," said George Naccara, TSA.
But the head of the TSA testified before Congress that scanners showing less detail also have a higher rate of false positives, which reveals the challenging balance between protecting privacy and keeping passengers safe.
The TSA said that this new stick figure scanning image is not imminent, but it could be in place within six months to a year.
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