If your nightmare of walking naked through a crowded room is magnified every time you walk through a body scanner at the airport, you can finally rest easy.
Inside Bay Area reports today that the Oakland International and Mineta San Jose Airports will finally be kicking the invasive full-body security screening machines to the curb.
The Transportation Security Administration says that the scanners, the last of their kind in the Bay Area, should be removed by June of this year.
Replacement machines will show airport security personnel an “avatar-like” image of the passenger passing through, as opposed to an x-ray of the actual passenger that pops up on the current machines.
The TSA says the replacement of the machines is because the manufacturer of the current model wasn’t able to be updated to accommodate the avatar. It could also be a result of passengers feeling violated by a machine that shows them sans clothing.
Don’t get us wrong: Airport security is very, very important. But passengers should be able to travel comfortably, and not have to worry about security people they don’t know looking at them all stripped down.
Congress made an order that would appeal to both the TSA and airline passengers: Create a machine that will still detect metal weapons and plastic explosives, but will show a more generic image the individual as not to completely invade their privacy.
The new machines, created by L-3 Communications, were installed at SFO in early 2010 and have proven successful.
June 2013 is the set deadline for these machines to be up in Oakland and San Jose, though the TSA has yet to comment on how these less-invasive contraptions are going to be funded and paid for.