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Site has airline passengers worried about privacy

Site has airline passengers worried about privacy



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SALT LAKE CITY -- There are new fears that images of what's underneath the clothing of airline passengers could be circulated on the Internet.

The top story on the Drudge Report Tuesday morning linked to images of a man and woman, clothes-less in a full-body scanner. It mentioned that the machines are being used at Salt Lake International airport. It's leading to questions about if they are actual passengers, or that any passenger's image could end up on the Internet.

TSA spokesman Dwayne Baird says the pictures online right now are of models demonstrating how the equipment works. He is quick to say the equipment cannot save, print or send images of passengers.

"Once we resolve the image, then the next passenger comes into the machine and the image that is on the screen is immediately deleted," Baird said.

He says the scanners are part of a pilot program right now at several airports around the nation.

"We've been able to determine that some people are actually bringing items through the checkpoint that are not allowed, that are prohibited, but because they are not metallic in nature, would not be picked up with the walk-through metal detector," he said.

Baird says the screeners are in a resolution room away from the checkpoint, so they don't see the face or identity of the person being screened. That way even celebrities coming through won't be identified and potentially exploited.

E-mail: mrichards@ksl.com

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Mary Richards

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