Washington, DC – Senator Susan Collins, the Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, praised the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for its positives steps to install at three airports screening technology to enhance the security and privacy of American air travelers.
TSA announced today it will begin installing Automatic Threat Recognition (ATR) software on Advanced Imaging Technology machines and will start field testing the technology at three airports around the country. In correspondence to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and the TSA Director, Senator Collins has repeatedly urged TSA to deploy software that provides automatic target detection for the whole-body scanning that would address privacy concerns about the technology, by avoiding the need to have a security screener review detailed images of travelers’ bodies.
“We have the technology that will eliminate the need for American air travelers to choose between their privacy and security when they choose to fly,” Senator Collins said. “I am pleased that TSA will deploy computer-based auto-detection technology to spot potentially threatening objects on a person. This technology highlights with boxes on a featureless human body those areas that may require further inspection, without the need for detailed, invasive images.
“I understand that the machines being installed in this pilot program do not emit radiation. Although TSA assures me that some of the machines in use that emit radiation do not pose a health risk, it is preferable to use technology that avoids exposure.”