CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CBS Charlotte) — In the spring of 2012, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) discontinued the use of full-body scanning machines that used backscatter imaging technology at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.
The old technology was replaced with millimeter wave machines, which display a generic image of a person.
TSA is now in the process of removing backscatter imaging scanners from other airports across the country.
The decision to stop using full-body scanners that displays near-nude images, comes after years of complaints from travelers who objected to the intrusiveness of the machines.
Over the last few years, other travelers have voiced concerns about being exposed to radiation during a full-body scan — especially travelers who frequently fly.
TSA recently made the decision to end their contract with Rapiscan Systems, the manufacturer of the full-body scanning machines. The decision was announced after it became evident to TSA that the company could not meet a deadline to update software that would make the scanners less invasive.
The Good News
By mid 2013, millimeter wave machines will take the place of backscatter imaging machines. Near-naked images will be replaced with silly cartoon images, and will be located throughout airports across the country.
The Bad News
Until all millimeter wave machines are up and running, more passengers may be subject to pat-downs — TSA-style. Pat-downs are quite plausibly more invasive than a full-body scan.
-Nichole Jaworski, CBS Charlotte