LAX Readies 'Strip Search' Scans

'Total body imaging' devices look under clothes for weapons
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 18, 2008 9:59 AM CDT
Mary-Carroll Lee ties her shoe at the Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles in this Jan. 10, 2007 file photo, after having gone through a security screening.    (AP Photo/Ann Johansson, File)
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(Newser) – New technology will allow screeners at Los Angeles International Airport to scan passengers with a device that effectively looks beneath their clothes, the LA Times reports. The “whole body imaging” machines are drawing mixed reviews—a TSA spokesman praised the "brand-new security tool," but an ACLU rep compared a scan to a “high-tech strip-search.”

“It's embarrassing and extremely violating,” said one passenger. Although passengers' faces are blurred and images are not retained, privacy advocates aren't reassured. “We would not have put the technology in place if we could not protect the privacy of passengers,” said the TSA rep, who said the machines will improve security.