The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the agency that operates full body scanners at U.S. airports, has repeatedly stated that it takes strong precautions to protect passenger privacy.
"[Full body scanners] cannot store, print, transmit or save the image, and the image is automatically deleted from the system after it is cleared by the remotely located security officer," the TSA Web site explains. "Officers evaluating images are not permitted to take cameras, cell phones or photo-enabled devices into the resolution room."
But the TSA's assurances have been questioned after a full body scanner operated by the U.S. Marshals Service at a Florida courthouse recorded and stored 35,000 images. In response to the leak, the TSA reiterated that its machines cannot record or store images, noting the U.S. Marshals Service is a separate agency within another federal department.
At a press conference yesterday, Schumer explained his legislation as an attempt to ensure the scales of security don't weigh too much more than those of privacy.
"Safety must come first, but there are areas where TSA can do more to protect people’s privacy without affecting safety,” Schumer said, according to The Epoch Times. “Americans by and large have been very patient, and we recognize that we’re better safe than sorry. We continually must adapt with the smartest and most advanced technology available, but as we do that, we need to ensure that the scales don’t tip too far in just one direction.”
♦ Photo by Zawezome/Flickr