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TSA does away with controversial body scan

Jan. 20, 2013 at 7:58 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- The Transportation Security Administration said it is doing away with airport body scanners that produce almost nude images of travelers at U.S. checkpoints.

The machines, called "backscatters," will be removed from airports by June, CNN reported Saturday.

"It is big news," said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. "It removes the concern that people are being viewed naked by the TSA screener."

The decision came after Rapiscan, the manufacturer of the body scanners, failed to find a way to use privacy software called Automated Target Recognition in backscatter machines, the TSA announced last week.

"By June 2013 travelers will only see machines which have ATR that allow for faster throughput. This means faster lanes for the traveler and enhanced security," the statement said.

The scanners will be replaced with less-intrusive "millimeter wave" machines that use ATR software.

Passengers will still be able to refuse a full-body scan and undergo a pat-down by TSA officers, CNN said.

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