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New, Less Revealing Body Scanners Debut at PHL Airport

(A woman goes through airport security at Philadelphia International Airport.  Credit:  Paul Kurtz)

(A woman goes through airport security at Philadelphia International Airport. Credit: Paul Kurtz)

Paul Kurtz Paul Kurtz
Paul Kurtz is a Philadelphia native who has been working as a reporter...
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The Transport Security Administration is rolling out new full-body scanners that are said to be more passenger-friendly than those currently in use.

The new scanners are now in use at Philadelphia International Airport.
The advanced imaging technology replaces detailed, through-the-clothing images of passengers with what the TSA’s Robert McKendrick calls a “generic gingerbread image.”

“The gingerbread image is just a doll-type image on the screen that even the passenger can see as they come out of the machine, and it shows a boxed-out area of where an anomaly is,” he explains.
Story continues below photo…

scanner image gingerbread kurtz New, Less Revealing Body Scanners Debut at PHL Airport

(A screen shows "anomalies" as yellow squares after a passenger has been scanned. Credit: Paul Kurtz)

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If there is no anomaly, the monitor simply flashes “OK” on a green background.

The new scanners can detect metallic and non-metallic objects.  They’re being used at three Philadelphia International Airport terminals right now, but  they’re just getting started.

“We’re trying to bring in 15 more, and we have to work out the details of exactly where and when and how,” McKendrick says.  “There’s a lot of fitting and processing that goes into making them operational in these tight environments we have in different areas.”

Body scanners came out last year, creating an uproar from  critics who complained that the machines were too invasive and the images they created too revealing.

Reported by Paul Kurtz, KYW Newsradio 1060

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