While questions about the safety of these controversial devices still remain, many travelers might be happy to learn that the full-body scanners rolled out by the American Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after the failed 2009 underwear bombing are being pulled offline at some of America’s biggest airports as privacy concerns still remain after allegations by Bloomberg Businessweek were made that Rapiscan may have falsified tests that were to eliminate the explicit images being returned. Disputing any wrongdoing, approximately 90 of the machines are now sitting in a Texas warehouse as the TSA now considers terminating their contract. Given the questions that remained about the science they are using on their scanners, if it is proved that they manipulated their privacy test results, passengers certainly shouldn’t be subjected to what might also be questionable engineering. Already banned throughout the EU for concerns that even the purported low levels of radiation don’t equate to an acceptable risk for cancer, I’m personally glad to hear they’re not being used and hope that someone is able to come along with a much more transparent design that doesn’t unnecessarily put the millions of passengers passing through airports every week at risk.
You can watch the below PBS Newshour story on x-ray scanners for more information.
Watch For Frequent Fliers, How Big a Concern Is Backscatter Body Scan Radiation? on PBS. See more from PBS NEWSHOUR.