Friday, January 18, 2013

In Retreat, TSA Pulling 'Backscatter' Naked-Image Scanners from Airports

The roughly 200 of the 800 or so whole-body images being used at 200 U.S. airports -- the backscatter ones made by a company called Rapiscan -- will be removed by the TSA, which lost a battle with Congress over the issue of the naked images the machines record.

This today from the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), which has led the fight against the machines on the ground of privacy intrusion:


Latest News - January 18, 2013

TSA to Pull Naked Body Scanners Out of US Airports

The US Transportation Security Administration will end the contract for backscatter x-ray devices. As a consequence, all devices that produce a detailed naked image of air travelers will be removed from US airports. Beginning in 2005, EPIC and then a coalition of privacy advocates, scientists, legal experts and lawmakers urged the TSA not to deploy the devices. The groups petitioned DHS Secretary Napolitano to suspend the program pending a thorough review. The agency went forward and EPIC sued. In EPIC v. DHS, the DC Circuit held that the devices could be used as long as passengers were able to opt-out. The federal appeals court also ordered the agency to "promptly" begin a public rulemaking. That process will likely begin in March 2013. For more information, see EPIC: EPIC v. DHS and EPIC: Body Scanners.


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