Full-body scanners pulled from airports get use in prisons
Responding to privacy concerns raised by travelers and civil rights groups, the Transportation Security Administration pulled 171 full-body scanners from airports last year.
But the scanners — which cost between $130,000 and $170,000 each — have not gone to waste.
Most have been shipped to jails, prisons and state and local government agencies.
The TSA reported that 154 of the scanners were recently transferred to law enforcement agencies in Arkansas, New York, Michigan and other places, with 96 others remaining at the manufacturer’s warehouse.
Several law enforcement agencies paid only a fraction of the original cost under a federal surplus program.
The TSA stopped using the scanners in 2013 because the manufacturer failed to add software to protect the privacy of passengers. The scanners created what resembled a nude image to detect hidden objects under passengers’ clothes
The TSA now uses a different type of full-body scanner that alerts screeners about possible hidden weapons by showing yellow boxes on a picture of a generic, cartoon-like image.