TSA Removes Full-Body Scanners for Increased Privacy

Posted by Elizabeth Lynch on January 23, 2013 at 4:59:28 PM EST | Post a Comment

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Sometimes it's hard to be modest about your travels. While you wait in the security line on the way home from your latest adventure, you might be brainstorming which jealousy-inducing details to brag about (er, share) with friends at home—but you're probably not hoping to share any intimate info with the TSA agent in your lane.

Thanks to a 2012 FAA reform act, many full-body scanners will soon be removed from airports because they could not update their software to meet privacy standards in time. According to the TSA blog, only scanners that show stick figure-esque outlines of travelers, rather than direct images, will now be allowed for security use. The removal of the Rapiscan machines, they explain, should also speed up security lines now that agents can monitor scans at the lane, rather than in a private room. Other full-body scanners that employ the Automated Target Recognition privacy software will remain in use.

So how do you, our friendly Fodorites, feel about the tightened privacy measures? "We've never worried about our privacy. Whatever it takes to make us as safe as possible while flying is more than OK with us," commented member 1965, making the security-over-privacy argument that emerged popular on the Fodor's forum. Other commenters lamented that the new software will still require the clumsy shoes-belt-wallet removal dance while standing in line. You can't beat our travel vets for helpful tips though—members julia1 and ms_go suggest looking into the TSA Pre-Check program for quicker and easier passage through security lines.

Photo Credits: "ATR Monitor After Alarm" via TSA Blog

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