TSA to remove naked-body scanners from airports

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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Transportation Security Administration officials announced that the agency will be ending its contract with the maker of controversial airport body scanners and removing the machines from airports.

TSA Administrator John Pistole told Bloomberg Friday that the agency will end its $5 million dollar contract with OSI Systems Inc.’s Rapiscan unit — the airport body scanner at the center of a privacy uproar.

The company, Pistole said, was unable to change its software making the scanned images less invasive.

“Due to its inability to deploy non-imaging Automated Target Recognition (ATR) software by the Congressionally-mandated June 2013 deadline, TSA has terminated its contract with Rapiscan,” the agency said in a statement Thursday.

“The company, based in Hawthorne, California, said it expects to report a $2.7 million one-time charge during the quarter that ended Dec. 31,” reported Bloomberg.

The agency removed 74 of the OSI’s machines from busier airports in 2012. The remaining 174 machines will be removed from airports, with the company absorbing the cost.

The TSA will instead use 60 machines manufactured by L-3 Communications. The technology uses radio frequencies instead of X-ray radiation to detect metallic and non-metallic objects.

“By June 2013 travelers will only see machines which have ATR that allow for faster throughput,” said the agency, stating that the change will create “faster lanes for the traveler and enhanced security.”

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Tags : privacy tsa
Josh Peterson