US House Passes Bill to Limit Whole Body Scanning

7 June 2009 (Last Updated June 7th, 2009 18:30)

A campaign by privacy groups to ban the use of full-body scanners at US airports has reached a significant milestone following the passing of a bill to limit their use. The bill bans the use of full-body scanners as the primary method of screening at US airports and allows their use only

A campaign by privacy groups to ban the use of full-body scanners at US airports has reached a significant milestone following the passing of a bill to limit their use.

The bill bans the use of full-body scanners as the primary method of screening at US airports and allows their use only when another search method demonstrates the need for further testing.

Sponsored by Utah representative Jason Chaffetz the bill was passed 310-118 due to growing concerns that the technology performs a virtual strip search and could intrude on personal privacy.

Chaffetz said that there was no need for the intrusive technology.

"You don't need to look at my wife and eight-year-old daughter naked to secure that aeroplane," said Chaffetz.

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) claims that the images captured by the system are blurred and can show hidden weapons.

Observers seeing the blurred images will also work from a different booth and cannot see the people whose images are shown on a screen. The images captured for screening will not be stored.

The Bill will now face the Senate, where it runs the risk of being dismissed.