TSA Prepares to Scan Your Package

February 27, 2007 | | Comments Off on TSA Prepares to Scan Your Package

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) may probe more than your suitcase in the future if the government decides to install Backscatter X-ray technology throughout the nation’s airports.

According to USA TODAY, the TSA says airport screeners will delete passenger images but the process is not automatic. Backscatter X–ray screens, which reveal body parts unobscured by clothing, are capable of storing images to a hard drive similar to the way a personal computer stores photographs.

Backscatter X-ray technology is cause for worry to civil liberty advocates because it infringes on fundamental privacy rights. Giving passengers a choice between an invasive pat-down and an intrusive backscatter X-ray scan is no real choice at all. X-rays of this nature are capable of seeing genitals, breasts, and other private areas but have no privacy mechanism to prevent unauthorized image viewing and archiving.

If the TSA implements backscatter technology Americans will have to choose between the most intimate invasion of personal liberty and lobbying congress to ban this type of probing technology.

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