Soon, air travel will no longer require passengers to put on a virtual strip show.
With this technology, to be installed on scanners with
millimeter wave imaging technology
(TSA will test similar software updates for backscatter machines in the fall), a simple "OK" will appear on the screen if travelers walk through the scanner and no suspicious items are detected. If something looks sketchy, TSA agents will see a generic body outline, along with a yellow mark indicating where the suspicious item is located. They will then perform additional screening.
What TSA agents currently see:
What they'll see with the new software:
The technology addresses privacy concerns, though skeptics say it does not eliminate them. TSA agents may still investigate with those with "anomalies"--adult diapers
, prosthetic breasts
, leg braces
. (We could Google this stuff for days
.) And some predict that the software could even lead to more
pat-downs since agents now don't get to see the specific suspicious items on screen. Also, the move does not address the potential health risk
s of X-ray scanners.
Ah, the traveler's headache continues.