In front of me, a pair of fabulous silver-haired ladies was discussing the various indignities of airport security. The first was of the opinion that no one should see her nude. A company called Rapiscan manufactured the machines, commonly referred to as backscatter scanners. The machines used X-rays, a form of ionizing radiation that reflects off of organic material and forms an image, thereby producing an essentially nude photograph of the passenger standing in the scanner. See the image at right. After much media attention and public outcry, the TSA claimed that employees would not be able to identify passengers based on the near-naked photos.
Rapiscan Naked-Image Scanner Archives - Christopherson Business Travel
Rapiscan was unable to translate the backscatter image above into the 'Automated Target Recognition' As threatened back in , the Transportation Security Agency is pulling the plug on "naked body scanners" in airports, ending its contract with backscatter scanner maker Rapiscan because the company was unable to come up with privacy-protective technology to shield travelers' private-ish parts from view. Via the L. Times :. The Rapiscan scanner uses low-level X-rays to create what looks like a naked image of screened passengers to target weapons hidden under the clothes.
The Transportation Security Administration said Friday it's dropping the full-body scanning machines that produced almost nude images of people at checkpoints and outraged many travelers. The reason: The maker of the machines, Rapiscan Systems, cannot produce software to eliminate the almost nude images that TSA personnel view and turn them into stick-like figures. The machines also were controversial because they use X-rays to scan passengers, prompting concerns about radiation. The move doesn't mean that passengers won't have to go through full-body scans at airports. The TSA is keeping other machines that use a different technology and software, and which provide stick-like body images that personnel examine for potential weapons.