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Private Pasties for Biometric Airport Screenings

Private Pasties for Biometric Airport ScreeningsMore news about biometrics, and specifically, news about the growing uproar centered on full-body imaging scanners that have been installed some airports across the country. A story published in the NY Post reports that full-body imaging scanners are on their way to airports in New York City, and one company is offering a solution to concerns about privacy.

The machines use X-rays to detect weapons in 3D images of passengers’ bodies, and the Transportation Security Administration is planning to install a thousand by the end of 2011. As of now, 142 are installed at US airports, each costing up to $170,000 apiece.

As for the growing uproar, many flyers are concerned about their privacy, as the images basically show a naked body. The TSA is promising that screeners, who would be working in seperate rooms from the stations, will quickly scan each image before it’s deleted from the agency’s computers, and the naked images won’t be seen by the personnel who escort passengers through the screening process.

Well, some companies are reacting to the news with a bit of ingenuity. One such company called Flying Pasties is making, well, just that: pasties that fit over your privates as you go through those new TSA machines. The company has created “2mm thick 100% rubber pasties” that “obscure your private areas when you pass through airport scanners.” There’s no adhesive necessary – they slip into your clothing, and come in both male and female models. Funny – they feature x-ray visible slogans like “Only my husband sees me naked!” among others. It’s a silly idea, but actually a good one and seems to embody a novel solution for the complaints coming from flyers about privacy invasion.

It’s still not clear how the TSA is planning to keep your naked pictures private. They say they’ll be deleted immediately, but honestly, how can they ensure that? I can’t imagine it would be long before an image or two leaks to the Internet for all to see and scrutinize. The TSA is saying that passengers can opt out of the screening and instead choose an alternative like a pat down or the standard metal detector screen. But doesn’t that sort of defeat the purpose of installing them in the first place, if security truly is the impetus?

We’ll see how they choose to deal with it, but in the meantime, you may want to check out some privacy pasties!