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TSA upgrade to end naked scanner images

TSA upgrade to end naked scanner images
A TSA worker, sitting in a small room, looks at images of a potential traveler during a demonstration of the new Backscatter Advanced Imaging Technology scanner at Lambert/St. Louis International Airport in St. Louis on October 7, 2010. UPI/Bill Greenblatt | License Photo

WASHINGTON, July 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. Transportation Security Administration Wednesday said it is updating scanner software to end the use of images that show a passenger's naked body.

The new software allows the full-body scanners in use at 78 U.S. airports to show images of objects under a person's clothes without creating an intrusive image.

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"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," TSA Administrator John S. Pistole said in a statement. "Further a separate TSA officer will no longer be required to view the image in a remotely located viewing room."

The new software is intended to end complaints by privacy advocates that the full-body scans amount to an invasion of privacy, even though screeners viewing the images do not directly see the person being scanned.

The updated system has been tested at airports in Las Vegas, Atlanta and Washington since February. If the scanner detects an object under clothing the passenger will still be patted down.

"In the coming months, TSA will install the software upgrade on all currently deployed (on Advanced Imaging Technology) millimeter wave imaging technology units at U.S. airports nationwide," Pistole said.

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Fox News said the upgraded software could be in operation on 200 scanners at 41 airports by year's end.

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