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Passengers get full-body scan at airport

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    Transportation Security Administration officer Elliot Idao checks a scan of a passenger from a closed booth at Honolulu Airport. He communicates with other officers by radio.

The Transportation Security Administration yesterday unveiled a new full-body scanner for passengers at Honolulu Airport.

The advanced imaging technology can look through a person’s clothing to produce head-to-toe images.

TSA said the technology safely screens passengers for metallic and nonmetallic threats, including explosives.

This summer, Lihue Airport became the first airport in Hawaii to begin screening passengers with the scanners.

Suzanne Trevino, a spokeswoman for the TSA, said passengers’ privacy is protected in several ways. The passenger’s face is blurred; the security officer who sees the image never sees the actual passenger (and would radio a second officer if an anomaly showed up); and images are erased before the next passenger is scanned.

The machine cannot store or transmit images, she said.

Passengers also have the option of going through a body search, rather than being scanned.

TSA hopes to have 500 airports equipped with scanners by the end of this year and 1,100 by the end of next year.


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