Contact Us
Make My Homepage

TSA Removing Naked X-Ray Scanners Over Privacy Concerns

Those airport scanners with their all-too revealing body images will soon be going away.

The Transportation Security Administration says the X-ray scanners will be gone by June because the company that makes them can’t fix the privacy issues. The other airport body scanners, which produce a generic outline instead of a naked image, are staying.

The government rapidly stepped up its use of body scanners after a man snuck explosives onto a flight bound for Detroit on Christmas day in 2009.

At first, both types of scanners showed travelers naked. The idea was that security workers could spot both metallic objects like guns as well as non-metallic items such as plastic explosives. They also showed every other detail of the passenger’s body, too.

The TSA defended the scanners, saying the images couldn’t be stored and were seen only by a security worker who didn’t interact with the passenger. But the scans still raised privacy concerns. Congress ordered that the scanners either produce a more generic image or be removed by June.

On Thursday Rapiscan, the maker of the X-ray scanner, acknowledged that it wouldn’t be able to meet the June deadline. The TSA said Friday that it ended its contract with Rapiscan.

The agency’s statement also said the remaining scanners will move travelers through more quickly, meaning faster lanes at the airport. Those scanners, made by L-3 Communications, used millimeter waves to make an image. The company was able to come up with software that no longer produced a naked image of a traveler’s body.

Rapiscan parent company OSI Systems Inc. said it will help the TSA move the scanners to other undisclosed government agencies. Scanners are often used in prisons or on military bases where privacy is not a concern.

OSI said it will maintain a scanner contract with the TSA, but would take a one-time charge of $2.7 million.

The contract to change the software on the scanners came under scrutiny in November when the TSA delivered a “show cause” letter to the company looking into allegations that it falsified test data, which the company denied. On Thursday it said final resolution of that issue needs approval by the Department of Homeland Security.

The agreement with the TSA is an indication that OSI Systems will be cleared of the issues raised by the agency, Roth Capital Partners analyst Jeff Martin wrote on Friday. OSI shares jumped $2.79, or 4.1 percent, to $70.44.

Besides the scanners being dropped by TSA, Hawthorne, Calif.-based OSI Systems makes other passenger scanners used in other countries, as well as luggage scanners and medical scanners.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Best of the Web


Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://nj1015.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on New Jersey 101.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on New Jersey 101.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!