Under fire from privacy advocates, the Transportation Security Administration is upgrading its full body scanners to eliminate the use of images that show a passenger’s naked body.
Over the new few months, the agency will install new software known as Automated Target Recognition (ATR) that can auto-detect items that pose a potential threat using a generic outline of a person for all passengers.
“Our top priority is the safety of the traveling public, and TSA constantly strives to explore and implement new technologies that enhance security and strengthen privacy protections for the traveling public,” TSA Administrator John Pistole said in a statement.
“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,” he said.
Under the current system, TSA screeners who watch travelers as they pass through the machines do not see the naked images. The screeners who see such images work in separate locations and don’t see the passengers. Travelers may choose not to go through the scanner, but they then receive an invasive pat-down, which many feel also violates privacy.