The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on Wednesday announced changes to traveler security screening at airports, allowing TSA personnel to require travelers to go through body scanners even if the passenger prefers a full-body pat-down instead.
The TSA said that the new system would be “warranted by security considerations in order to safeguard transportation security.”
CNN reports that currently, passengers may choose full-body pat-downs byTSA agents instead of going through Advanced Imaging Technologies, orAIT, scanners. The announced procedure would not allow some travelers to opt for a pat-down instead of a body scan.
TSA says the new policy was created to safeguard airline security during heightened terrorism concerns.
“Given the implementation of Automatic Target Recognition (ATR, the process of identifying the location of an object) and the mitigation of privacy issues associated with the individual image generated by previous versions of the AIT not using ATR, and the need to respond to potential security treats, TSA will nonetheless mandate AIT screening for some passengers as warranted by security considerations,” the agency said.
In a follow-up Twitter posting, TSA said that the use of body-scanning technology “improves threat detection capabilities for both metallic and nonmetallic threat objects.”
CNN notes that the TSA reminded passengers on Wednesday that AITscanners do not store images or any personally identifiable information.