TSA to Remove Controversial Naked-Image Body Scanners


The Transportation Security Administration will no longer operate machines that let its employees look at images of travelers without their clothes. The agency announced that it will remove OSI Systems Inc.’s Rapiscan scanners—which display a naked, though distorted, image of passengers passing through security—from all U.S. airports. Late last year, the TSA removed 76 of the controversial backscatter X-ray machines from the nation’s busiest airport, but 174 machines remained at other locations. The TSA was facing a deadline imposed by Congress to alter the images to meet the concerns of privacy advocates and passengers who said the scans were too revealing, but OSI was unable to create a software fix in time. The company will absorb the $2.7 million cost of removing the scanners and transferring them to other government agencies. The TSA will continue to use body scanners by another supplier that rely on radio frequencies rather than X-rays. That company was able to develop software that creates more generic images. The agency also has contracts with companies to develop new scanners that meet the updated privacy standards. bloomberg.com