Transportation Security Administration agents told congressional lawmakers this week that they’ve stopped taking images of passengers that are graphic to the near-naked level.
In a letter released Thursday, TSA administrator John Pistole said the heavily criticized Advanced Imaging Technology scanners have been fitted with Automatic Target Recognition machines that only produce generic images of passengers’ bodies, The Hill reported.
“As of May 16, 2013, all [Advanced Imaging Technology scanners], are equipped with ATR capability,” he said in his letter, The Hill reported. “Additionally, TSA’s procurement of next generation AIT requires ATR capability.”
TSA’s technology change came by way of congressional mandate in 2012. Congress required the agency in its Federal Aviation Administration funding bill to add on the privacy technology to its scanners.
The mandate was welcomed by health and privacy advocates alike. The former questioned the levels of radiation the controversial “backscatter” X-ray machines emitted and the latter, whether the graphic images that were produced were being used in inappropriate manner, The Hill reported.