As far as Friday afternoon news dumps go, this one is substantial – AP reports that those airport scanners with their all-too revealing body images will soon be going away.
The Transportation Security Administration says the X-ray scanners will be gone by June because the company that makes them can’t fix the privacy issues. The other airport body scanners (millimeter wave scanner), which produce a generic outline instead of a naked image, are staying.
The TSA said it’s abandoning deployment of so-called backscatter technology machines produced by Rapiscan because the company could not meet deadlines to switch to generic imaging with Automated Target Recognition software, as mandated by Congress.
Rapiscan had a contract to produce 500 machines for the TSA at a cost of about $180,000 each.
The TSA had already pulled 76 of the machines and today’s announcement guarantees that another 174 will be mothballed, the agency’s assistant administrator for acquisitions told Bloomberg.