The Transportation Security Administration has announced their decision to drop full-body scanning machines that produce graphic images of travelers at security checkpoints due to the fact that the maker of the machines, Rapiscan Systems, cannot produce software to eliminate the exposed images that TSA personnel view and turn them into generic figures.
U.S. House Transportation Security Subcommittee Chairman Richard Hudson (NC-08) released the following statement on TSA's decision to remove the backscatter X-ray machines from airport service:
"I am pleased to see that by removing the intrusive Rapiscan body scanners, TSA and Administrator John Pistole are working to protect the privacy of travelers and are seeking to remedy a longstanding complaint. Once these flawed machines have been removed and replaced with security scanners that meet the requirements set forth by Congress, the privacy concerns of travelers will finally be addressed. This is just one example in which the Department of Homeland Security and TSA have faced scrutiny over their procurement process. I will certainly be examining this particular instance to see if it resulted in a waste of taxpayer dollars, and I will work with Chairman McCaul and Administrator Pistole to determine the causes of this issue and what we can do to address any underlying problems."
The TSA currently has 174 Rapiscan machines in use, all of which will be removed from airports by June. Passengers will still go through full-body scans at security checkpoints, but TSA will be using machines with a different technology and software to provide generic body images that personnel examine for potential weapons.