TSA Promises Privacy For Subjects Of Clothing-Penetrating Scans

Cynthia Kuo mattababy at gmail.com
Fri Oct 12 02:01:35 PDT 2007

For IP, if you wish.


TSA Promises Privacy For Subjects Of Clothing-Penetrating Scans

The U.S. Transportation  Security Administration today promised to
protect air travelers' privacy as TSA personnel peer through their

 The TSA has begun testing a millimeter wave scanning system at
Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport as an alternative to pat-downs performed by
security personnel when  secondary screening is deemed appropriate.
The technology can see through clothing to detect weapons, explosives,
and other objects.

 The TSA said that energy emitted by millimeter wave technology --
10,000 times less than a cell phone -- is safe, that the technology is
intended to keep passengers safe, and that it will keep the
potentially embarrassing images safe.

"We are committed to testing technologies that improve security while
protecting passenger privacy," said TSA administrator Kip Hawley in a
statement. "Privacy is ensured through the anonymity of the image: It
will never be stored, transmitted, or printed, and it will be deleted
immediately once viewed."

 Ensuring privacy, as the TSA describes it, involves having security
officers view images from remote locations. Thus, the security officer
cannot identify the passenger, visually or by some other means, but
can send word to fellow officers if a threat is detected.

 According to the TSA, the scanning system applies a security
algorithm to further protect passenger privacy by obscuring the
passenger's face.


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