Officials at the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have confirmed new software will remove the need for “naked” images of passengers to be created during security screening.
A generic image will instead be used, removing one of the main complaints held by travellers against new Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) machines.
Pictured: Passengers have raised privacy concerns over new airport scanners
TSA administrator John Pistole explained new – known as Automated Target Recognition (ATR) - will auto-detect items that could pose a potential threat using a generic outline of a person for all passengers.
In the coming months, TSA will install the software upgrade on all currently deployed millimeter wave imaging technology units at US airports nationwide.
By eliminating the image of an actual passenger and replacing it with a generic outline of a person, passengers are able to view the same outline that the TSA officer sees.
Further, a separate TSA officer will no longer be required to view the image in a remotely located viewing room.
“Our top priority is the safety of the travelling public, and TSA constantly strives to explore and implement new technologies that enhance security and strengthen privacy protections for the public,” Pistole said.
“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.”
The new software automatically detects potential threats and indicates their location on a generic, computer-generated outline of a person that appears on a monitor attached to the AIT unit.
As with the current version of AIT, if a potential threat is detected, the area will require additional screening.
If no potential threats are detected, an “OK” appears on the monitor with no outline, and the passenger is cleared.