The latest technology advance in scanners is being tested at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

TSA Begins Testing New Airport Scanners
“Millimeter Wave” Machine Uses Radio Waves, Not Radiation; Alternative To Pat-Downs

(CBS/AP) The federal government is now testing a body-scanning machine that sees through travelers’ clothing, as an alternative to hand searches by security officers.

Instead of using x-rays or other harmful forms of radiation it’s using radio waves. (technical nitpick: radio waves ARE a form of radiation, the frequency is just a LOT lower than that of x-rays, Gamma rays and so on.)

The thing about this scanner is that while it does provide a hands-free method of searching that doesn’t even require anybody to take their clothes off or be “patted down”, it provides a image of the subject… Just the subject.  it ‘sees’ through clothing as if it wasn’t there.

While efforts have been made to insure that this isn’t just a way for scanner operators or spectators to get a cheap thrill, it’s still a problem.  Yes, they have the images showing away from the scanning site and they say that the images are not saved.  You can bet if this thing catches somebody it won’t be long before we find out that images ARE saved, if only for a few days to make sure they’re not needed.  That will become one of the points at which images can be stolen.

I predict that within a year of this kind of ‘virtual strip search’ is put into everyday use that images generated by the device will be stolen and shortly thereafter appear on the Internet for all the world to see.

Technorati Tags: security, scanner, virtual+strip+search, x-ray, radiation, images, see+through+clothes

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