posted on Jun, 26 2003 @ 12:09 PM
No more privacy...
A scanner the government is testing for airport screening reveals much more than meets the eye to be comfortable for most passengers.
Susan Hallowell, director of the Transportation Security Administration's security laboratory, sacrificed a large measure of her own modesty
Wednesday to demonstrate the problem.
She stepped into a metal booth that bounced X-rays off her skin to produce a black-and-white image that revealed enough to produce a world-class
Her dark skirt and blazer disappeared on the monitor, where she showed up naked - except for the gun and bomb she had hid under her outfit.
"It does basically make you look fat and naked, but you see all this stuff," Hallowell said.
The agency hopes to modify the machines with an electronic fig leaf - programming that fuzzes out sensitive body parts or distorts the body so it does
not appear so, well, graphic.
Another option would be to restrict the screener to a booth so no passing peepers can see the image, said Randal Null, the agency's chief technology
Null hopes to conduct pilot programs with the machines at several airports this year. A test run with volunteers at Orlando International Airport in
Florida met with mixed results, he said.
Some were uncomfortable with the technology - called "backscatter" because it scatters X-rays - while others proclaimed it "a whole lot nicer than
having someone pat me down," he said.