Dec 23

Travelers take note: TSA will decide who gets scanned and who can get a pat-down before boarding planes

air-asia-planeWASHINGTON, D.C. – A Transportation Security Administration policy regarding body scanners has been changed in favor of tighter security, and it might be harder than ever to avoid a body screening before boarding an airplane.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) used to allow air passengers to opt out of a body screen. However, a document released by the federal government says the policy has changed:

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has deployed Advanced Imaging Technologies (AIT) for operational use to detect threat objects carried on persons entering airport sterile areas. AIT identifies potential threat objects on the body using Automatic Target Recognition (ATR) software to display the location of the object on a generic figure as opposed to displaying the image of the individual. TSA is updating the AIT protocol to reflect a change to the operating protocol regarding the ability of individuals to opt opt-out of AIT screening in favor of physical screening. While passengers may generally decline AIT screening in favor of physical screening, TSA may direct mandatory AIT screening for some passengers. TSA does not store any personally identifiable information from AIT screening.

The policy change may be a reaction to elevated concerns about security and perceived plans by terrorists to victimize the  aviation industry.

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