A full-body scanner is a device that detects objects on or inside a person's body for security screening purposes, without physically removing clothes or making physical contact. Depending on the technology used, the operator may see an alternate-wavelength image of the person's naked body, merely a cartoon-like representation of the person with an indicator showing where any suspicious items were detected or full X-ray image of the person. For privacy and security reasons, the display is generally not visible to other passengers, and in some cases is located in a separate room where the operator cannot see the face of the person being screened. Unlike metal detectors , full-body scanners can detect non-metal objects, which became an increasing concern after various airliner bombing attempts in the s. Transmission X-ray body scanners can also detect swallowed items or hidden in body cavities of a person.
November 23, — January 26, R Topic Areas About Donate. Changes in Airport Passenger Screening Technologies and Procedures: Frequently Asked Questions November 23, — January 26, R This report contains answers to numerous questions regarding airport passenger screening. Download PDF. Download EPUB. Reports of negative public reaction to some of these changes have prompted intense congressional interest in TSA passenger screening. This report addresses some of these concerns.
In response to a passenger smuggling plastic explosives hidden in his underwear onto a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day in , the Transportation Security Administration TSA , a department of the US Department of Homeland Security, began pushing forward with its plan to place full body scanners in all American airports. Thus far, the TSA has deployed scanners in 78 airports in the United States, with an estimated 1, scanners to be deployed by the end of There are two types of full body scanners in use. Each generates a detailed outline of the human body for the purpose of identifying contraband hidden under clothing. The millimeter wave scanners emit extremely low energy waves- each scan delivers a small fraction of the energy of a cell phone- and the scanners capture the reflected energy.
Past Spotlights. Recently, the Transportation Security Administration TSA announced a proposal to purchase and deploy "backscatter" X-ray machines to search air travelers at select airports. TSA said it believes that use of the machines is less invasive than pat-down searches. However, these machines, which show detailed images of a person's naked body, are equivalent to a "virtual strip search" for all air travelers. This proposal, along with the agency's controversial plan to profile air travelers, shows extraordinary disregard for the privacy rights of air travelers.