Washington: In the face of an outcry over
so-called "naked" body scans at airports, US authorities on
Wednesday announced plans for a new scanning system that
eliminates "passenger-specific images."
Transportation Security Administration Administrator
John Pistole said the agency would begin installing new
software on its scanners "designed to enhance privacy."
The new software "will auto-detect items that could
pose a potential threat using a generic outline of a person
for all passengers," the agency said.
"By eliminating the image of an actual passenger and
replacing it with a generic outline of a person, passengers
are able to view the same outline that the TSA officer sees,"
a TSA statement said.
"Further, a separate TSA officer will no longer be
required to view the image in a remotely located viewing
The news comes after protests and lawsuits over the
use of so-called "naked" scanners that take full-body X-ray
images that show passengers` genitals. In cases where people
refuse such scans, TSA agents manually pat down passengers.
The TSA says the scanners protect fliers following the
foiled 2009 Christmas Day plot to down a US jet by a Nigerian
traveler who concealed explosives in his underwear.
Critics say the devices and the pat downs are invasive
US President Barack Obama last year said the
understood "frustrations" over the measures and had asked the
TSA to "constantly refine and measure whether what we`re doing
is the only way to assure the American people`s safety."