This airport scanner type was discarded last year by the Transportation Safety Administration due to complaints of passengers because privacy invasion (it provided naked body images to the agents). This study that involved participation of several top U.S. universities demonstrated that travelers’ clothes can be fairly easily obstructed from detecting concealed weapons or bombs if a such scanner is in use. More precisely, simple plastic shields and under clothing can obscures banned objects from monitors.
After being discarded from the airports, some scanners of this type was sold at discounted prices to government facilities such as courthouses and prisons. Some are already in use now in many airports on the world, including countries as Rwanda, Tanzania, and Kenya. The researchers warned about how much is evaluated a technology before its use in critical security areas, concluding that greater efforts in this direction are needed. Hovav Shacham’s research interests are in applied cryptography, systems security, privacy-enhancing technologies and tech policy.