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Post Info TOPIC: Revealing x-ray machine raises privacy concerns in US


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Revealing x-ray machine raises privacy concerns in US
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Revealing x-ray machine raises privacy concerns in US
Washington, Dec 5 (UNI)
A new full-body x-ray machine to be tested this month at a US airport has raised concerns about privacy issues with some rights advocates saying the technology amounts to a virtual strip search.
 The ‘‘Backscatter’’ machine to be used at Phoenix Sky Harbour International Airport in Arizona will enable screeners to detect non-metallic devices and objects as well as weapons on a person’s body, authorities say.
 But critics, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), say the machine constitutes an invasion of privacy as it can display graphic images of nude bodies and its use could pave the way to widespread abuse of the images taken, with some possibly being posted or traded on the Internet.
 ‘‘Passengers expect privacy underneath their clothing and they should not have to reveal themselves in that way,’’ Jay Stanley, a privacy expert with the ACLU said. ‘‘This doesn’t only concerns genitals but body size, body shape and other things like evidence of masectomies, colostomy appliances or catheter tubes.
 ‘‘These are very personal things that people have every right to keep private and personal, aside from the modesty consideration of not wanting to be naked.’’
 Federal officials, however, have downplayed such concerns saying that screeners will be able to blur out a person’s genitals and that the x-ray image will be erased from the screen once a passenger is cleared through the machine.
 The Transportation Security Officer operating the system will also not be able to print, store or transmit the image and will be viewing the x-ray in an area not visible to the public.

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