Advanced imaging technology that shows a generic figure -- rather than an actual image of each passenger's body parts -- may be tested in certain U.S. airports later this year, according to TSA chief John Pistole.
L-3 and Rapiscan, the companies that manufacture the scanners for U.S. airports, have developed software upgrades that convert each person's scan into an avatar, with a fool-proof alert box that will notify TSA agents of potential threats. This aspect of the upgrade is meant to further ensure passenger security -- and it would save TSA from having a dedicated employee inspect each scan.
Pistole explained that the upgraded technology could "completely address the privacy, the modesty issue" that has been raging since last year. And depending on the results of the test pilot, he said, the new technology could be deployed nationwide.