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Group Says TSA Scanners Can Store, Send Images

pickens (49171) writes | more than 4 years ago

Privacy 0

Hugh Pickens writes "CNN reports that the Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) says that the TSA is misleading the public with claims that full-body scanners at airports cannot store or send their graphic images. In documents obtained by EPIC, the TSA specifies that the body scanners it purchases must have the ability to store and send images when in "test mode" leaving open the possibility the machines — which can see beneath people's clothing — can be abused by TSA insiders and hacked by outsiders. "I don't think the TSA has been forthcoming with the American public about the true capability of these devices," says EPIC Executive Director Marc Rotenberg. "They've done a bunch of very slick promotions where they show people — including journalists — going through the devices. And then they reassure people, based on the images that have been produced, that there's not any privacy concerns." A TSA official who spoke on condition of anonymity says all full-body scanners have "strong privacy protections in place" and are delivered to airports "without the capability to store, print or transmit images." "There is no way for someone in the airport environment to put the machine into the test mode," the official says, adding that test mode can be enabled only in TSA test facilities. But the official declined to say whether activating test mode requires additional hardware, software or simply additional knowledge of how the machines operate."

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