Complaint: TSA agents targeted female travelers

Kim Zetter in Wired: TSA agents in Dallas singled out female passengers to undergo screening in a body scanner, according to complaints filed by several women who said they felt the screeners intentionally targeted them to view their bodies.


    1. Damn you for making me waste 1 minute of perl and  0.005 seconds of CPU time to check that you spoke the truth. 

  1. When the damned things were nicknamed “pornoscaners” it was done without a lick of sarcasm.  Plenty of derision, but absolutely no sarcasm.

  2. I’m surprised there aren’t galleries out there yet.

    When they first came out, one of the top Bollywood stars found that the security had printed out his pornoscan. I guess he saw a publicity opportunity, because instead of raising hell, he signed copies of it for them.

  3. From TFA:

    “All of our millimeter wave technology units including those in Dallas have been upgraded with additional privacy enhancements that no longer display passenger-specific images,” the TSA said in a statement. “To further ensure passenger privacy and anonymity, a privacy filter was applied to blur all images.”

    Talk about Security Theatre.  They’ve blurred all images and now don’t display passenger-specific images.  So these scanners are now even more obviously bloody useless than they were before?

    1.  It is not clear from the article if the scanner had the privacy upgrades done before or after these incidents. If after, the upgrades may have been in response to these types of complaints. Good.

      If the upgrades were done before, it is quite possible she was being sent through repeatedly for exactly the reason you suspect, and not because of any interest on the part of the screener. The “I’m letting her go” comment from the agent may have been due to the lines backing up or the passenger getting agitated.

      I’ve seen those “privacy enhanced” scans in person: Last time I flew to Las Vegas, BWI and McCarran both had it. The image is a generic body outline with boxes indicating areas of unusual density (which is what these scanners are supposed to detect). You can’t see anyone’s junk, but at the same time you don’t get a clear picture of what the scanner is alerting on.

      It works exactly like the TSA’s info page says it does: (zoom in on the page, it is displayed smaller than actual size)

      A lot of the scanners that do this type of scan have the monitor right on the side of the scanner so the agent putting you through is the one that reviews it. So the result is that some agents will send a person through more than once before patting them down in those specific areas. You’d be surprised on what false alarms: For some reason I always seem to get checked under my arms, and women with big hair seem to get patted on the head quite often.

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