The Transportation Security Administration has been forced to put 91 full body-scanning machines into storage due to concerns over privacy. A House hearing was informed about the decision to move the machines into storage yesterday.
The so-called backscatter machines use x-rays in order to scan travelers, which results in nearly naked images of passengers. The TSA says that software intended to replace the almost naked image that resulted on the machine with that of a stick figure was seriously flawed, and still failed to alleviate concerns over privacy.
As a result of this, the TSA made the decision to move the machines into storage, according to the assistant administrator for security capabilities for the TSA, John Sanders.
The decision to pull the backscatter machines from LaGuardia and JFK Airport in New York, as well as airports in Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Los Angeles and Orlando, was made three weeks ago. The decision was made in order to try and speed up the security lines at the airports’ checkpoints. This move has been successful, Sanders says, with the lines at the airports affected now moving another 180,000 passengers every day.
The use of backscatter machines to scan travelers takes longer due to the near-naked images they provide of passengers, which forced the TSA security officer whose job it was to view the images to have to sit in a different room from the machine and to then radio clearance back to the checkpoint.