Senators upset about body scanning blunder

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08/25/2010

I blogged not long ago about the possible implications for the Transportation Security Administration's effort to install body scanning technology in airports after the U.S. Marshals admitted to storing more than 35,000 images from such machines in a Florida courthouse.

Nobody is happy about this situation and now Senators from the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee are demanding answers. Chairman Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins sent a letter last week to John Clark, the director of the U.S. Marshals Service, asking for a full explanation about why the service has been storing images produced from whole body scanning machines, reported The Hill.

"This is a troubling response that suggests the U.S. Marshals Service has failed to fully appreciate the seriousness of the issue. The perception of whole body imaging scans differs greatly from that of security camera footage, and therefore demands a higher level of sensitivity to the legitimate privacy concerns of those being scanned."

Apparently, the US Marshals weren't storing the images for any specific purpose, which of course makes one wonder why they would store them at all (especially since it's well known how controversial this technology has been for the government).

The Senators also noted that the TSA has adopted strict protocols regarding the retention of such images and requests the U.S. Marshals Service should do the same.