TSA to Remove Controversial Body Scanners From Airports
"Naked" technology felt invasive to travelers
The Transportation Security Administration will remove its controversial body scanners from airports. The machines produced a full body image of the traveler, but the “nude” technology sparked a public outcry and lawsuits charging that they constituted an invasion of privacy. Additionally, experts questioned their safety as they subjected the traveler to a small amount of radiation, which at higher doses have been linked to cancer. Travelers could opt-out of the scanning, but would receive a pat down instead. There are still a total of 174 machines in use in 30 airports, but the TSA plans to remove them all by June 1. Instead, airports will continue to use walk-through metal detectors or "millimeter wave body scanners," which use a generic stick figure as an image. The government began using the full body scanners after the failed underwear bombing by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on Christmas Day 2009.