US Trials New Body Scanning Software

THE US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is testing a new type of body scanner software at several US airports.  Previous versions of airport security body scanners had been criticized for being too revealing, hence the new software tests.
“We believe it addresses the privacy issues that have been raised,” commented TSA chief John Pistole during a news conference held at Washington Regan National Airport.
Using the new software, the machine simply replaces the old x-ray style image with a generic ‘stick’ person outline which, after the scan has been made, has the location of any potential ‘threats’  projected on to it.
After a passenger has passed through the scanner he or she will see a computer screen. If it displays a large green ‘OK’ then the passengers continues on their way.  If, on the other hand, they appear to have something hidden inside their clothing a box marks its position upon the generic image and the traveller is given a pat-down search by security staff.
Mr Pistole said: “One of the things this does is give greater confidence to the travelling public, because they are seeing the image also.  They are seeing exactly what the security officer is seeing, that they can say ‘Oh, yeah, I forgot to take that piece of paper out of my pocket.  And, hopefully it provides a greater deterrent to possible terrorists, who may realize ‘Ok, they’re going to see it right there.  If that shows up, and I’m here, then I’m going to be caught,”’ he added.
The software is being trialled at Washington Regan National, Las Vegas McCarran and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson airport.
If the TSA is satisfied with its two-month trial results it plans to install the software to 250 compatible US airport scanners at a cost of US$2.7 million.