Group Demands Immediate Halt of Full-Body Airport Scanners
By David Kravets|Wired.com
A leading privacy group is urging a federal appeals court to suspend the government’s program of introducing full-body imaging machines at airports across the country.
The Transportation Security Administration began deploying 450 of them in March to dozens of airports nationwide.
“The suspicionless search of all airport travelers in this most invasive way violates the reasonableness standard contained in the Fourth Amendment,” Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said Tuesday. He said the devices, costing $1 billion, were designed “to store and record and transmit the unfiltered image of the naked human body. ”
The government is expected to respond next month to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
A test image shown to reporters at Logan International this spring “showed the blurry outline of a female volunteer,” The Associated Press reported at the time. “None of her clothing was visible, nor were her genitals, but the broad contours of her chest and buttocks were. Her face also was blurred.”
The constitutional challenge aside, EPIC also charges that the Department of Homeland Security, in rolling out the devices, violated a host of bureaucratic policies requiring public review, including the Administrative Procedures Act.
What’s more, the group claims the machines, among other things, violate the federal Video Voyeurism Prevent Act, which protects against capturing improper images that violate one’s privacy.