Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Changes in TSA Body Scanning and Pat-Downs

On December 18, 2015, the rules changed on the US Transportation Security Administration scanner versus pat-down option. Up until that date, passengers had the option of going through the full body scanner or choosing a pat-down. That option can still be requested but the passenger should be prepared for the request to be denied.

The full-body scanners were installed in 2007. When someone is in the scanner, the image of their body underneath their clothes, along with any objects being carried, appears on a monitor. Many people felt the images were very intrusive, despite the TSA assuring people that the images were not saved and that the person viewing them was in a different area from the person being scanned. Still, some people were not comfortable with this and could opt for a pat down instead.

This changed with the installation of new body scanners that no longer show a graphic image of the person being scanned. Instead, the image shows a generic body, with the general location of items being carried highlighted, alerting the TSA agent as to whether or not further investigation is needed.

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