Articles


Transportation Security Adminstration (TSA) to Test Voluntary Full Body Scan in Phoenix
 
February 23, 2007
by Staff Writer, The Safe Traveler
 

The Transportation Security Administration’s announced plans to test full body x-rays at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport which was widely reported today in various news outlets, has raised some concerns.

The device known as backscatter will, according to the TSA website, be tested as a voluntary option for those travelers selected for secondary screenings. Currently those travelers are required to walk through the metal detector again and then submit to a “pat-down” search. The backscatter x-ray will eliminate the need for the pat-down search.

The use of the backscatter x-ray, which is designed to improve detection of non-metallic devices and objects, as well as weapons or other harmful items, has raised concerns about privacy.

The TSA reports that they have implemented a number of procedures and modifications to the machines, which have been available for several years, and procedures to help protect traveler privacy. Among the safeguards: the images cannot be stored, printed or transmitted by the viewing Officer; the Officer views the image on a stand-alone machine rather than a network; and other travelers and the Officer attending the traveler being screened cannot see the image.

For more information visit the Transportation Security Administration website at www.tsa.gov

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