After years of complaints from travelers, the TSA’s body scanners will no longer show a TSA officer physically revealing images of a scanned travelers.
Replacing the previous image is a generic image of a passenger’s body.
Along with its invasive pat-down searches, the scanners — or Advanced Imaging Technology systems — used by the TSA in airports have been a serious point of contention for the agency.
TSA Administrator John Pistole told the heads of the House Homeland Security Committee in a letter that the agency achieved its goal 15 days before its congressionally-mandated deadline on May 31, according to a Thursday report from Mashable.
The TSA was originally expected to change its systems by June 2012, but it was granted a one-year extension from Congress.
North Carolina Republican Rep. Richard Hudson, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee’s transportation subcommittee, applauded the news from Pistole.
“I am pleased to hear that Administrator Pistole didn’t need the extra time Congress granted him to achieve this goal,” said Hudson in a statement to The Daily Caller.
“It’s important that a citizen’s right to privacy is protected, and the new software systems for these body scanners accomplish just that,” said Hudson.
“I look forward to working with Administrator Pistole and TSA to ensure that all future iterations and machines meet the same stringent privacy standards,” he said.
In January, Pistole announced that the TSA was ending its $5 million contract with OSI Systems Inc — the maker of the Rapiscan unit, the body scanner at the center of the privacy uproar.
Pistole’s reasoning was that the company was unable to change the machine’s software to make the scanned images less invasive in time for the TSA to meet its deadline.
The agency transitioned to using machines that use radio frequencies instead of X-rays to scan passengers.