Revealing full body scanners thing of past at airports
The harshest critics dubbed them virtual strip searches, others expressed health concerns over low doses of radiation.
Well it's all over now: full body scanners that produce revealing images of airline travelers are out of airports for good.
They've been controversial since the start. The government began rolling out backscatter technology that produced a full body image of a traveler after a failed bombing in 2009.
The security procedures made headlines, and sparked an outcry.
"No, I don't like them because I think that it invades your privacy,"one passenger said. "And the scanners should not go that far in depth."
Some passengers were willing to electronically bare it all in the name of safety, while others just got used to the machines.
"I travel quite a bit and it's kind of just something you do," explained Emily Dougherty. "You go with it and whatever gets you through the fastest and feels the safest is kind of what works."
"Doesn't bother me," added Randy Weirman. "I travel every month, internationally, and you forget about it."
"It's just something else you have to go through," said Bob Wagoner. "If you have to go through it, then as long as it's expedient I don't care."
But after the manufacturers of the security scanners failed to meet a Congressional deadline for new software that would protect passengers' privacy, the TSA pulled the plug.
It had a June 1st deadline to remove all 250 backscatter machines from US airports.
These changes don't mean the end of full body scanners. Travelers will go through new machines that use a system that relies on radio waves and shows a generic stick figure as an image.
Right now there are more than 700 of these body scanners in about 165 airports.
"They don't show the full scan anymore," described Dougherty. "It's just like an ok and it's quicker and it doesn't get hung up on a lot of things."
"They actually pick up a lot of different things," said Weirman. "People have stuff in their pockets, they can see everything very quickly and easily."