The Orwellian US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will have to remove some airport body scanners due to their inability to meet privacy requirements.
The manufacturer of the oversized radiation machines, OSI Systems, failed to write new software which was supposed to make passenger images a bit less revealing. OSI Systems previously stated that it would be able to meet the 1 June deadline set by Congress to comply with new privacy requirements, but something obviously went wrong.
According to Bloomberg, the TSA will not ditch full-body scanners altogether. It will just use different ones, manufactured by L-3 Communications Holdings, as they don’t appear to deliver the same “naked” images. The TSA will ship the 174 Rapiscan machines to other government agencies, which means they will continue to provide amusement to their operators, just not at airports. However, with the obesity epidemic reaching new heights, some operators could face post-traumatic stress issues in later life.
In addition, OSI Systems is facing allegations that it manipulated software test results. Congressman Mike Rogers said the company may have attempted to defraud the government by “knowingly manipulating an operational test”.
OSI Systems CEO Deepak Chopra said the company is pleased with the “mutually satisfactory agreement” with the TSA, but the agreement will cost the company $2.7 million.
Regardless of the technology employed in the actual devices, the use of full-body scanners is bound to remain controversial. Privacy groups claim the scanners violate privacy laws and offend airline passengers with their revealing images, although they are a good incentive to visit the gym a bit more often. The scanners are yet to thwart a single terrorist attack.