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TSA testing more-modest airport scanners

February 2, 2011 | 12:03 pm

The TSA is testing new airport scanning software that it says will show fewer graphic images of subjects' private areas.

Travelers had complained that the Transportation Security Administration's advanced imaging technology, which took detailed scans of passengers' bodies, constituted an invasion of privacy.

Starting Tuesday, the agency launched a trial run of new software that portrays subjects moving through the machine as a generic, gray outline, and identifies suspicious items by marking parts of the body with small red boxes.

The first stop for the newly modest machine: McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, not necessarily a place known for its desire to hide from prying eyes. The test will then expand to airports in Atlanta and Washington.

The TSA said it worked with private companies as well as the Science and Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security to develop the technology, which it began testing in-house this fall.

There are currently 500 advanced imaging technology units at 78 airports around the country.

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-- Tiffany Hsu [follow]

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