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TSA Ending Airport Scanner Contract Over Privacy Concerns

Don't get too excited. The agency is getting rid of 174 machines—but still keeping 60 from another manufacturer.

TSA Ending Airport Scanner Contract Over Privacy Concerns

The Transportation Safety Agency will remove more than 100 so-called naked-image scanners from airports after the company that manufacturers them, OSI Systems, couldn't find a way to make passengers' images less identifiable, Bloomberg News reported Friday.

The company is also being probed for possibly faking testing data on a software fix. Officials said that probe did not affect their decision to end the contract.

The controversial scanners aren't completely disappearing from US airports, however. The agency will keep 60 machines manufactured by its other supplier, L-3 Communications Holdings Inc.

The scanners came under scrutiny almost immediately after they were installed in airports in 2010. Passengers and privacy groups complained the machines were too invasive. The TSA then asked manufacturers for a software fix to make images less identifiable.

A plus side to the machines They may be able to detect skin cancer.

[Picture by Flickr user andysternberg]