Are We Being Subjected to Covert Body Scanners?

This week, the Electronic Privacy Information Center obtained documents that suggest in an effort to combat suicide bombers and left-behind bombs, the Department of Homeland Security has spent millions of dollars on mobile body scanner technology to be used on unsuspecting rail commuters or stadium fans that can peer under clothing and look inside bags.

According to the documents, pilot programs are being conducted in several rail locations, including New York and New Jersey's PATH rail system. Specific technologies to be fielded are motion video surveillance cameras, still photography, whole-body infrared images, whole-body millimeter wave and whole-body terahertz images. Anyone who walks through the detection zone, from the entrance turnstiles to subway platforms, will be subject to these covert scans.

The technologies captures faces and full-body scans, but to minimize privacy risks, personally identifable information, such as names, will be excluded so the subjects remain anonomous. Also, if images need to be shared with other divisions, the pictures will be blurred.

Read the documents here.

How do you feel about the use of these technologies? Are you willing to be subjected to these scans in order for the government to find suicide bombers?

Posted by Sherleen Mahoney on Mar 03, 2011


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