"See-Through" Body Scanners

Document Date: June 3, 2008

Millimeter Wave Image (see larger >>)

Backscatter X-Ray Image (see larger >>)

There are some security measures that are extremely intrusive and should only be used when there is good cause to suspect that an individual is a security risk. See-through body scanning machines are capable of projecting an image of a passenger’s naked body.

Passengers expect privacy underneath their clothing and should not be required to display highly personal details of their bodies such as evidence of mastectomies, colostomy appliances, penile implants, catheter tubes and the size of their breasts or genitals as a pre-requisite to boarding a plane.

>ACLU Backgrounder on Body Scanners and “Virtual Strip Searches”

Press Releases
> President Obama Rightly Emphasizes Need For Better Intelligence, But Erroneously Defends State Of Terror Watch Lists (1/5/2010)
> Airline Security Must Protect Rights As Well As Safety (1/4/2010)
> In Aftermath Of Attempted Attack, ACLU Advocates Effective Security That Respects Privacy (12/30/2009)
> New Airport Body Scanners Troubling to ACLU Privacy Expert (10/11/2007)
> ACLU Calls for Removal of Controversial See-Through Scanner in Orlando (3/15/2002)

> ACLU Blog of Rights: ACLU Opposes Body Cavity Searches For All Airline Passengers (12/31/2009)
> Op-ed written by ACLU’s Barry Steinhardt entitled “Stop Virtual Strip Search,” appearing in USAToday (12-13-06)

> Statement of Timothy D. Sparapani, ACLU Legislative Counsel, at a Hearing Regarding the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s Physical Screening of Airline Passengers and Related Cargo Screening Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation (4/4/2006)

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