Controversial backscatter body scanners that can show “nude” pictures of airport travellers is retired, the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has confirmed, following the maker couldn’t deliver confidentiality software fast enough. The 174 Rapiscan scanners used over the US is returned to the maker, OSI Systems, Bloomberg reports, following “it became obvious to TSA they will be unable to satisfy the timeline” about developing masking software which might obscure individual identities, a spokesperson for the agency confirmed.
Pressure to develop a software update which might avoid the pictures within the backscatter scanners from being personally identifiable to the travellers themselves came within the US Congress, following improving complaints from confidentiality recommends plus travelers. That lead to a unique contract back inside August 2010, with all the TSA demanding brand-new software which preserved highlighting of possible weapons or different contraband, nevertheless didn’t overstep the mark about identification.
OSI Systems eventually revealed it didn’t anticipate to have these a fix till 2014, despite rival dealers to the TSA being able to satisfy the requirement inside 2011. “As a happen of which,” assistant administrator for acquisitions Karen Shelton Waters mentioned, “we terminated the contract for the ease of the government.”
The maker might foot the bill – expected to amount to about $ 2.7m – for pulling the Rapiscan machines from airports plus shifting those to different US government agencies (that have less stringent confidentiality demands). Still inside surgery, still, are alternative body scanning machines produced by L-3 Communications Holdings, that employ a different technologies plus have had a confidentiality patch installed for many years.
Sixty of the L-3 scanners – that employ millimeter-wave development instead of X-rays – are inside surgery over US airports; the TSA also offers contracts out with L-3 plus 2 different services for hot models. Far more common, naturally, are the equally-controversial “enhanced pat-downs” introduced inside late 2010, inside that TSA agents investigate with their hands the groin, inner-thigh region, waistband, plus alternative components of the body. Exact details of the increased process are confidential, with the TSA citing protection concerns.
In addition to the brand-new scanners, the TSA apparently intends to broaden the existing PreCheck program, that trades individual info provided ahead of time of travel for the potential for reduced checks whilst at the airport. But, the scheme just operates for domestic flights in the US, plus just US people are qualified to register for membership.