Feds Admit Storing Body Scans

Scanners capable of storing, sending images

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 6, 2010 1:42 AM CDT

(Newser) – The "virtual strip search" images taken by airport body scanners, which federal agencies have long insisted can't and won't be stored, have been stored in the tens of thousands. The US Marshals service has admitted that over 30,000 of the über-revealing images were stored at a single courthouse, CNET reports. The machines will soon be in use at almost every major US airport, according to Homeland Security.

The TSA claimed last year that the machines cannot store nor transmit the images, but officials later admitted that the agency required manufacturers to include those functions for "testing, training, and evaluation purposes." The Electronic Privacy Information Center has filed a lawsuit, demanding a federal judge pull the plug on the TSA's scanning program. "This is the Department of Homeland Security subjecting every US traveler to an intrusive search that can be recorded without any suspicion," the group's director says. "It's outrageous."

The TSA's millimeter wave body scan.
The TSA's millimeter wave body scan.   (TSA)
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The TSA is not being straightforward with the public about the capabilities of these devices. - Marc Rotenberg, director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center

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