As of mid-May, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced all of its airport scanners now display a less graphic body image than those that have been causing privacy concerns since they began use in 2008.
TSA Administrator John Pistole told the House Homeland Security Committee in a letter last week, which was released publicly Thursday, that as of May 16, 2013, all scanners were retrofitted with Automated Target Recognition (ATR), which is a privacy filter that shows only a generic body outline on a screen for agents.
The scanners being changed in major airports around the country was first reported in the fall of 2012, but earlier this year, TSA announced the change would apply to all backscatter scanners. The update was made in accordance with the FAA’s Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, which required all of TSA’s Advanced Imaging Technology units be equipped with ATR by June 1, 2012.
Last year, Pistole extended the deadline to May 31, 2013, and in the letter announced no need to extend it further because all units had the privacy filter installed.
The Hill reported lawmakers expressing support for the completion of the project.
“I applaud TSA for becoming compliant with the law mandating that all AIT machines used by TSA are equipped with up-to-date privacy filters,” Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said in a statement. “Because of this action and congressional oversight, TSA will never again use machines to screen passengers that do not obscure their [images] while maintaining security.”
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