Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Airport Testing of New Advanced Imaging Technology Software Begins Today!


Monitor Showing Alarms
Monitor Showing Alarms

***Updated 2/2/2011 to upload image showing alarms.***

I can remember the first time we blogged about Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT). It was referred to as Whole Body Imaging back then, and is now more commonly referred to by the flying public as a “Body Scanner” as well as a few other clever but inaccurate monikers.

Anyway, ever since we first started talking about them, a small percentage of travelers have had privacy concerns with the AIT machines, and we have addressed those concerns in a variety of ways. TSA has implemented strict measures to protect passenger privacy, which is ensured through the anonymity of the image. A remotely located officer views the image and does not see the passenger, and the officer assisting the passenger cannot view the image. The image cannot be stored, transmitted or printed, and is deleted immediately once viewed. Additionally, there is a privacy algorithm applied to blur the image.

We are always looking for new technology and procedures that will both enhance security while strengthening privacy protections. That’s why we worked with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) and private industry to develop the software, and began testing in labs in Fall of 2010.

The software will be tested at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) starting today, February 1, and at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International (ATL) and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) in the very near future.

So if you’re scratching your head at this point and asking, “What in the heck does this software do?”, it works with our AIT machines and eliminates passenger-specific images and replaces them with the generic outline of a person (see image below).

Here’s how it works: You step into the AIT machine and the new software will automatically detect potential threats and show their location on a generic image of a person. The image is on a monitor that is attached to the AIT unit in public view. Because this eliminates privacy concerns, we no longer have to staff an officer in a separate room.

If there are areas that need to be searched, the monitor will display this image.

If there are areas that need to be searched, the monitor will display this image.
If there are no potential threats, there will be no image and the monitor will look like this.

If there are no potential threats, there will be no image and the monitor will look like this.















Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team


If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.


229 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 229 of 229
Anonymous said...

Blogger Blogger Bob said...

Anonymous said: How is privacy maintained if a female passenger chooses a visual inspection over removing nipple rings? A TSO would be looking at her bare breasts. February 4, 2011 8:10 PM

--------------------------

You might remember this post... TSA & Piercings

We adjusted our procedures after that incident. Like we've said before, we respect the privacy of passengers, but security comes first.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team
------------------------------

Thanks for responding....after the 4th time the questions was posted.

How dangerous are body piercings? If the TSO acknowledges it is a piercing then why would it need to be inspected?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
As far as the radiation...I'm no scientist, but I do have an answer to this question and issue. Do a 5th graders science homework. Google radiation. Anything manmade and most things found in nature emit radiation. Granite counter tops, micowaves, THE SUN, T.Vs, and so much more. If your that worried...i would say don't leave the house but that won't work. Think about this. TSO's stand in it, work around it, and every pregnant TSO I know has a perfectly healthy child and no one has developed health issues or a third eye...and were not passing through it for two seconds.

February 18, 2011 8:00 PM
-------------------------------

How much of the radiation you refer to gets focused and deposited into the skin? How much is ionizing radiation? Also the TSA keeps bragging about the independent radiation studies they have conducted but refuses to make the study available in the interest of public review by other scientists. The TSA's biggest problem is their lack of credibility. Instead of proving their assertions that the radiation is harmless they choose to perpetuate their lack of credibility by not posting the study at all. The TSA brings the abuse it receives upon itself through their own actions. if the TSA truly wants to shut ppl up they need to show them proof.

Anonymous said...

How will ATR increase effectiveness of the body scanners when the cannot even detect firearms now?

http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local-beat/TSA-Agent-Slips-Through-DFW-Body-Scanner-With-a-Gun-116497568.html

Anonymous said...

It's amazing that most of the responses on this blog are just attacks, or negative comments. Any practical suggestions? If you don't like something, stop complaining, and suggest a solution.

GSOLTSO said...

I would ask that we please stay on topic. If you have commentary about things other than the ATR or AIT, please use the "Off Topic" thread. Thank you.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

http://tiny.cc/69lxe

"TSA Source: Armed Agent Slips Past DFW Body Scanner"

"An undercover TSA agent was able to get through security at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport with a handgun during testing of the enhanced-imaging body scanners, according to a high-ranking, inside source at the Transportation Security Administration.
...
The officer successfully made it through the airport's body scanners every time she tried, the source said."

The officer successfully made it through the airport's body scanners every time she tried

Yet more proof the scanners are useless. So, why do you have them, again??

Anonymous said...

The only thing that matters is air safety. Go ahead TSA and make my day and keep me safe. Keep my daugher safe . Keep my son in law safe. Keep my grandchild safe. If any one objects let um take a tax, bus, train or drive themselves.
Thank you for doing your job excellently.

Dan Quam
Roanoke, Va

Anonymous said...

"we respect the privacy of passengers, but security comes first."

Actually, the truth is more like this:

"we respect the Constitutional Rights of the American citizen including the 4th Amendment, but security comes first."

In the clearly expressed views of the Founders of this nation, that sentiment would be enough to brand the TSA as traitors.

Anonymous said...

"Any practical suggestions? If you don't like something, stop complaining, and suggest a solution."

End the mandatory shoe carnival, since it makes no one safer and no other country on earth has one.

End the war on liquids, since liquids aren't dangerous.

End the ID checks, since they contribute nothing to security.

Stop taking naked pictures of people.

Anonymous said...

I am happy to see that someone else posted the information about the woman who conducted the test at DFW airport and who was able to take a firearm through the scanners 5 times without detection. Once again we see proof positive that the TSA is NOT stopping people from being able to bring firearms through security. Once again we are forced to acknowledge the simple fact that if there really WERE bad people trying to hurt citizens on board airplanes, they would have done so. But the reality is that the Underwear Bomber Incident was almost certainly another setup by the FBI, and we are being subjected to these immoral acts at the airport for someones nefarious agenda.

Did everyone forget that Chertoff is getting very, very rich off of the scanners?

Anonymous said...

A misguided soul said:
"The only thing that matters is air safety. Go ahead TSA and make my day and keep me safe. Keep my daugher safe . Keep my son in law safe. Keep my grandchild safe. If any one objects let um take a tax, bus, train or drive themselves.
Thank you for doing your job excellently."

Air safety may be the only thing that mattters to you but not to the vast majority of the citizenry. As for your suggestion that we take other forms of transportation, kindly mind your own business; you are willing to trade liberty for the illusion of security but I am not.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:
"...I'm no scientist, but I do have an answer to this question and issue. Do a 5th graders science homework. Google radiation. Anything manmade and most things found in nature emit radiation. "

This would have best ended with "I'm no scientist." No, you're not.

Incidentally, I don't believe that granite is "manmade."

GSOLTSO said...

Anon quoted another anon - "Anonymous said:
"...I'm no scientist, but I do have an answer to this question and issue. Do a 5th graders science homework. Google radiation. Anything manmade and most things found in nature emit radiation. "

This would have best ended with "I'm no scientist." No, you're not.

Incidentally, I don't believe that granite is "manmade."


However, I would like to point out that granite DOES occur in nature.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Oopsie. Looks like that AIT is working out real well.....

http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local-beat/TSA-Agent-Slips-Through-DFW-Body-Scanner-With-a-Gun-116497568.html

Anonymous said...

I have read reports that the current machines give radiation out behind the slave part of the machine and above the machine.

People are effected by scatter not on each shot but on each repetative shot in the area of the machines over and over.

Glad i dont work next to a machine.Its kinda like when the soldiers in the army said its ok to handle depleted uranium shells..haha..anyone with reason would say dont think so.

Anonymous said...

You can't seriously believe that people believe that making the "gingerbread" images gets you off the hook for the egregious violations of our 4th Amendment rights, can you?

Oh, wait. Right. You are a TSA employee, with a paycheck issued by the Federal government.

Here's something for you to read -- when you joined your group, you swore to uphold the document from which it is excerpted:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Anonymous said...

GSOL TSO said:
"However, I would like to point out that granite DOES occur in nature."

So does lead and arsenic. Care to be exposed to either on a daily basis?

Anonymous said...

GSOLTSO said:
"However, I would like to point out that granite DOES occur in nature."

West - Move this to the off topic thread.

Former Frequent Flyer.. grounded. said...

While this change seems good, I am still concerned. The fact that if there is a problem then that area is shown in detail tells me that a detailed image is still created. Everyone knows that once an image is created, you can never completely remove/delete it. The fact that it's transmitted tells me the image is not stored on a solitary device, but is on a network, which means it's hackable. As I tell the kids I work with to discourage them from texting revealing pictures of themselves, once the picture is out there you have no control over it anymore.

I have stopped flying since November of 2010, missing a trip to Maui in January, missing a girls trip to Vegas this month, and possibly a wedding in November unless I feel like I will be safe by then.

The bottom line is, nobody gets to touch my body unless I say it's ok or I have done something illegal. Nobody gets to see what my body looks like under my clothes unless I say so or have done something illegal.
Violating that minimum level of privacy is a violation of basic human rights, and is illegal in every other situation.

As long as there is a risk that this basic human right will be violated, I'll not be flying. I'd rather take the (miniscule) risk of a terrorist, than the much more likely risk (certain risk for my parents, both with artificial joints), of being sexually assaulted or having a revealing image of myself created and out of my control. "Give me liberty, or give me death."

Terry Voots said...

As a Test Engineer I am educated on the standards and practices written for regualtions in the CDRH a Divsion of the FDA. It is public knowledge the regulatory branch of goverment that specifies these devices (CDRH) issued a warning that we should be working towards minimizing the amount of accumulative radiation. Meanwhile the TSA reads these regualtions and interperates it as a one time exposure. Some imaging systems are ionizing, some are not. The Veterans Admin Hospitals overexposed soldiers for years by not properly calibrating and following procedures on Xrays systems, and these were trained medical staff. Now the TSA low paid staff with little qualifications are running similiar systems and trying to convince us they are safe. Some where there is a disconnection here and a little lack of logic and education. Laws make things legal and illegal, laws do not correct or ethically correct.

James said...

Here is the problem ... to anyone who is in the TSA and actually cares.

The public doesn't believe you.

You're implementing this "new software" but what's to say that there isn't still a person sitting in the back room looking at nude images? How do we know that all that has stopped and you're not using this "new software" as window dressing to get people off your backs?

RB said...

What is the rate of false postives on both types of Strip Search Machine?

Anonymous said...

I just went and looked at myself (with clothes on) and decided the cartoon image might help the screeners keep from barfing! Unless you are an 18 year old male, with a good looking 18 year old girl nearby; do you see many people you would like to see naked at the airport? If you do, you need to 1) send me the name of your airport, 2) get your glasses checked, 3) arrange for therapy, and/or all of the options.

Anonymous said...

I don't trust that there may be a TSA agent still somewhere in a back room viewing the raw image in at least some cases. Also, the device is obviously capable of storing images and that may be misused.

Nope, still not gonna fly. Boy, it's been a long time, too.

fern said...

Why didn't you bring out the software at the same time as announcing the scanners. I think they are a great idea and will certainly ease traveller's minds. Anything to make travelling safer has got to be good for all.

Shine said...

Is this machine safe?

allensawyer37 said...

How much of the radiation you talk about gets focused and deposited in the skin? How much is ionizing radiation? Also the TSA keeps bragging in regards to the independent radiation studies they've got conducted but will not make study to be found in a person's eye of public review by other scientists. The TSA's biggest dilemma is their lack of credibility. As an alternative to proving their assertions which the radiation is harmless they want to perpetuate their lack of credibility by not posting the study in the least. The TSA brings the abuse it receives upon itself through his or her actions. should the TSA truly would like to shut ppl up they must demonstrate to them proof.


http://www.worktopfactory.co.uk/Materials/GraniteWorktopsUK/GraniteWorktopsEngland/GraniteWorktopsLeicestershire/tabid/1508/Default.aspx

having a baby at 40 said...

I'm no scientist, but I do have an answer to this question and issue. Do a 5th graders science homework. Google radiation. Anything manmade and most things found in nature emit radiation. Granite counter tops, micowaves, THE SUN, T.Vs, and so much more. If your that worried...i would say don't leave the house but that won't work. Think about this. TSO's stand in it, work around it, and every pregnant TSO I know has a perfectly healthy child and no one has developed health issues or a third eye

Anonymous said...

Then, after you've done that fifth graders homework, do some more advanced homework and learn about things like ionizing versus non-ionizing radiation and realize it is not quite that simple. If these are perfectly safe, there's no reason not to let an independent organization test them and confirm that.

«Oldest ‹Older   201 – 229 of 229   Newer› Newest»