Those controversial airport X-Ray machines known colloquially as “pornoscanners” are going the way of being able to take bottles of water through security.
According to Bloomberg, the TSA is recalling all backscatter X-ray machines after their manufacturer was unable meet Congressional demands to create a version that would show generic images of passengers instead of the more, er, naked-looking images that it currently generates. 76 of the machines were ditched last year, and the remaining 174 still in U.S. airports will soon be pulled as well.
Some of them will be replaced by another type of body scanner that uses radio frequencies to find metallic and nonmetallic items and, presumably, won’t yield images that some have likened to a “physically invasive strip search.”
Personally, I never minded the backscatter machines—going through them I never felt like my privacy was being violated, and whichever line is moving quicker, backscatter or the older machines, I’ll go there, whatever. But I do respect the fact many people felt those machines to be an invasion of their privacy. Frankly, I’m surprised that Congress and the TSA actually followed through and are ditching the scanners in question, which I guess says more about my opinion of government and how it relates to its citizens (I’m cynical, what can I say?) than anything about the scanners themselves.
(via: Ars Technica)