TSA introduces new, more discreet X-ray scanner software


I cannot tell you how much anger I’ve heard from frequent travelers about the new X-ray full body scanners in effect at so many airports. At the same time, it’s been interesting because the general population doesn’t seem to care too much when asked by pollsters. They have more of a “well, if it will keep me safe…” kind of attitude. But those frequent travelers are up in arms!

The whole issue has created enormous backlash against the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and its workers, even though it’s not the workers’ fault at all. So now comes word that the TSA is testing software that no longer leaves your vital body parts naked for the screener to see, but that can still ferret out weapons or contraband.

The TSA normally tests initiatives like this quietly, but not this time. They’re doing a big media push around the new software to counter all the initial uproar about the naked scanners. Here’s hoping the new software works like it should.

Really, I hope that what comes out of all the controversy is a new effort to do smart security based on human intelligence. Our rote way of screening people is beyond silly. We’ve made some attempts to train people in human behavior analysis of late, but we need to do so much more of that.

The silliness I see with kids or old people being searched is so wrong and just turns people off from travel. And travel’s something I love, so I hate it that people find the airport gauntlet so intimidating or upsetting that they choose not to take a trip when they might have otherwise.

I travel so much that the scanners are no big deal for me, really. As I’m walking up to get in line to be screened, I simply eyeball which line doesn’t have the naked scanner and that’s the one I go to. That’s just my way of dealing with this. What’s yours?

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