100 "Naked" Scanner Images Made Public

Stephen Gutowski | November 16, 2010
Font Size

Despite many promises from federal agencies to the contrary it seems that some of those "naked" body scanners can and have stored images. In fact the US Marshal Service admitted to storing tens of thousands of those images at a single courthouse in Florida. In order to prove these "naked" body scan images could be made public Gizmodo.com, a tech blog, filed a FOIA request and received 100 of them. Thankfully for the people being scanned the machine used by the US Marshals produced a lower quality image and are far less detailed than many of the machines used at airports. So this video does not contain graphic body scanner images:

There you have it. If you've ever worried that those "naked" scanner pictures of you might some day make it beyond the TSA screen in the next room... well, your fears were well founded.

You might point out that this didn't happen at the TSA and the TSA has claimed in the past that "scanned images cannot be stored or recorded" and you'd be correct. However, in the same article that showed the US Marshals were saving the images it was also pointed out:
This follows an earlier disclosure (PDF) by the TSA that it requires all airport body scanners it purchases to be able to store and transmit images for "testing, training, and evaluation purposes." The agency says, however, that those capabilities are not normally activated when the devices are installed at airports.
So, it seems to me, its only a matter of time before this same incident happens with the TSA. Most likely due to bureaucratic incompetence and government inefficiency. Speaking of which... apparently one of the authors of the bill that created the TSA is going around reminding airports that they can legally opt out of the TSA in favor of private security screeners.
mrc merch