New 3D scanner at airports not to show body parts

February 10th, 2010 - 10:25 am ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Feb 10 (IANS) With full body searches becoming the norm at airports amid terror threats, a Canadian engineer has invented a three-dimensional scanner that doesn’t violate passengers’ privacy.
The new 3D scanner developed by Montreal-based William Awad highlights metal or organic material on a human body without showing the body outline under clothing, according to reports.

But the current scanners at airports produce a three-dimensional outline of the human body, raising a hue and cry over privacy violations.

The new machine will address these privacy fears in the wake of the newly introduced physical searches and pat-downs at North American and European airports after the aborted bombing of a US airliner at Detroit on Christmas day by a Nigerian man linked to al-Qaeda.

The new 3D scanner is so much better than the current machines that it reveals the blind spots inside suitcases which are often missed by the traditional scanners.

During trials, the new machine quickly detected fake explosives and knives hidden inside a suitcase while the traditional scanner failed to notice these hidden objects.

Since American and Canadian airports are in the process of installing full-body scanners, the Canadian inventor is seeking certification from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the US to sell his machine.

Canada has also ordered installation of 44 scanners at all its important airports.

Security experts say the current screening technology at airports has become obsolete as terrorists become more sophisticated, and there is need to upgrade it. The Canadian inventor expects to fill this gap.

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