TSA Unveils Software Upgrade For Body Scanners At SFO

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The Transportation Security Administration has rolled out new software at San Francisco International Airport meant to ease privacy fears at checkpoints with full body scanners.

When the TSA first rolled out the scanners, privacy advocates and some modest flyers were worried about a stranger viewing their whole body, as that’s what would pop up on the screen.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

Now, TSA spokesman Nico Melendez said it’s much more anonymous.

“The image now is generic for every passenger. It’s eliminated privacy concerns because it’s not passenger-specific,” said Melendez.

The generic outline of the person pops up with a yellow box pinpointing where on a person’s body someone might be carrying illegal items.

This allows the TSA to eliminate the need for a separate agent behind a privacy partition reviewing the images.

Haifa, a passenger who was flying to Beirut on Wednesday, said she likes the idea of modesty.

“This is something not for people to see. That’s something private for you,” she said.

The new software has been in use at SFO’s 12 full body scanners for less than two weeks. Oakland and Mineta San Jose International Airports use different technology for their scanners, but the TSA said they are hoping to field test upgrades for those machines next year.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Holly Quan
Comments

One Comment

  1. Rob Chapman says:

    “This allows the TSA to eliminate the need for a separate agent behind a privacy partition reviewing the images.” And there we have the REAL reason for the “upgrade”.

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