TSA installing new body scanning technology at San Diego airport

By City News Service

The Transportation Security Administration on Tuesday unveiled body scanning technology that is being installed at the San Diego International Airport.

The advanced imaging technology scanners, made by Rapiscan Systems, use so-called backscatter technology to generate a full-body image of passengers to screen for both metallic and nonmetallic objects, including explosives, without any physical contact.

TSA officials said strict privacy protections have been put in place to protect passengers. But, some travelers say the machines are a violation of their privacy.

“I feel violated,” a female traveler told KFMB-TV.

Michael Aguilar, the TSA’s federal security director in San Diego, said the technology is needed to make air travel safer.

“It is TSA’s responsibility to keep the traveling public safe, and the use of advanced image technology is critical to mitigate threats and evolving threats,” Aguilar said.

The TSA has purchased 450 of the machines to be used in airports nationwide.

Airline passengers who do not want to be scanned may instead opt for alternative screening procedures at security checkpoints, which will involve walking through a metal detector and undergoing a pat-down.