US Airport Passenger Image Scan Upgrades

 Full Body Scanner: A WikiFocus Book (WikiFocus Book Series)
The US government agency charged with ensuring the safety and security of airport passengers in the United States is changing the way passengers are scanned at tens of sites across the country.

The original introduction of full-body scanners, which capture in-depth images of travellers in the search for concealed weapons, potentially explosive devices and other material, generated much controversy. Now, says the Transport Security Administration, all millimetre wave scanners deployed at US airports will have their software upgraded. As a result, the images that are studied by TSA officials working there will not represent the actual passengers being scanned but, rather, portray them generically.

So-called AIT (Advanced Imaging Technology) scanners made their airport debut in 2007. To this day, they're not a compulsory measure, but passengers that refuse them can expect to be rigorously patted-down, instead.

Generic Airport Passenger Image Scans  
In a statement on the new generic airport passenger image scans, the administrator of the TSA, John Pistole, emphasised that while travellers' privacy concerns should now be alleviated, the security aspect would remain as robust as ever.

"Our top priority is the safety of the traveling public, and TSA constantly strives to explore and implement new technologies that enhance and strengthen privacy protections for the traveling public", he stressed. "This software upgrade enables us to continue providing a high level of security through advanced imaging technology screening, while improving the passenger experience at checkpoints."

US Airport Scanner Upgrades  
Along with the altered image, one more major change will result from the US airport scanner upgrades, too. From now on, passengers will be permitted to look at the images themselves whereas, at present, that option isn't available and is solely restricted to TSA workers positioned in isolated areas.

The generic passenger images will still indicate the presence of potentially non-secure items in a standard way. If threats are detected, the passengers responsible for presenting them will be subjected to extra screening. If, however, it's an all-clear, the AIT system will display an ‘OK' message.

The full-body scanner software upgrade was developed through a collaboration between TSA and the Science and Technology Directorate - the US Department of Homeland Security's R+D offshoot organisation.