Wednesday, February 2, 2011

TSA backlash watch: Is the TSA getting it right?

Maybe the Transportation Security Administration is getting it, after all. The agency is debuting new body scanners that don't show so much ... body

The machines now produce a gray, cookie-cutter outline of the human form. The silhouette appears on a screen about the size of a laptop computer that is attached to the scanning booth.

If a passenger is cleared by the scan, the screen will flash green with an "OK." Suspicious items detected by the scanner appear as little boxes outlined in red, showing their location on generic front and back silhouettes on the screen.

Please do watch WaPo's video of TSA head John Pistole announcing the new scanner. Nice how they demonstrate it by showing a white woman going through the scanner without weapon — and a black man going through the scanner while concealing "suspicious objects." Way to be sensitive and avoid stereotypes, guys.

That said, this seems much less intrusive than the scanners that let airport officials see your nude body underneath your clothing. My family might be more willing to get on airplane if we aren't subjected to a virtual strip search prior to flying. But this technology is still in the testing phase; we'll see how long it takes to get all the way to Philadelphia



No comments: