All along, TSA has said over and over again that body imagers used for security purposes are unable to store, export or print images of passengers.
"...the procurement specifications require these machines be capable of functioning in both a screening operation environment at the airport, and in a test mode environment. A test mode would be used at our testing facilities at the Transportation Security Integration Facility (TSIF) and the Transportation Security Lab (TSL). As you can imagine, the ability to store, export and print are crucial in a testing environment. ...All functionality to store, export or print images is disabled before these machines are delivered to airport checkpoints. There is no way for Transportation Security Officers in the airport environment to place the machines into test mode."
But this week, The U.S. Marshals Service admitted that it had accidentally saved tens of thousands of images recorded on a machine used at a security checkpoint in a Florida courthouse.
According to this piece from Declan McCallagh on CNET:
"William Bordley, an associate general counsel with the Marshals Service, acknowledged in the letter that 'approximately 35,314 images...have been stored on the Brijot Gen2 machine' used in the Orlando, Fla. federal courthouse. In addition, Bordley wrote, a Millivision machine was tested in the Washington, D.C. federal courthouse but it was sent back to the manufacturer, which now apparently possesses the image database."
In July, the Electronic Information and Privacy Act filed a lawsuit to suspend deployment of additional scanners, saying that the scanners violate the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches.
Oddly enough, people seem to view these searches as reasonable. A USA Today Gallup Poll conducted earlier this year showed that of of 542 adults who have flown at least twice in the past year, 78 percent approved of using full body scanners and and 67 percent said they were comfortable being examined by one.
A Rand research study that focused on the security environment in the United Kingdom quantified people's trade-offs across liberty, privacy and security. They report that people are more comfortable with a body scanner than a pat down:
"We anticipated that security checks which may have an obvious implication in terms of privacy would be less preferred than others with which individuals may be more familiar. However, the evidence illustrated that people were comfortable with the idea of passing through an X-ray arch or scanner, much more so than a pat-down or bag search."
So what about you? What would you do? Take the poll and immediately find out how your choice compares to others.
Source: Discovery News