TSA removing naked body image scanners from airports

The TSA is doing away with the RapiScan airport scanners. Photo: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP/ABC7) - One of the most controversial, and in many cases despised, airport security devices in recent air travel history is being removed. The Transportation Security Administration confirms that it is getting rid of airport body scanners that produce a naked image of travelers.

Right now, the TSA uses two types of scanners. One makes a generic image showing where agents should look for an object on the traveler's body. Those scanners are staying.

The other kind of scanner uses X-rays. They raised privacy concerns because they show metal objects on the traveler's body - along with every other detail, too. Congress has mandated that those scanners be changed or removed by June.

TSA says the X-ray scanners will be gone by June. It says the company that makes them, Rapiscan, was not able to come up with a software fix to make the scanners comply with the Congressional mandate.

In a statement, TSA officials said that by June, travelers will only be put through machines that have Automated Target Recognition that allow for faster inspections. The company that made the scanners that will be removed, OSI Systems, is losing a $5 million contract with the government and must also pay to remove the scanners.