Speed Reads


The TSA can now refuse your request to opt out of the body scanner

Travelers who prefer to opt out of the full-body scanners at airport security may no longer be given that option, thanks to a rule change issued by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

"While passengers may generally decline [scanner] screening in favor of physical screening," the update stated, "TSA may direct mandatory [scanner] screening for some passengers as warranted by security considerations in order to safeguard transportation security." The considerations which would justify an agent's decision to refuse an opt-out are not specified.

The TSA's body scanners have been controversial since the first generation of machines were installed in 2008. Privacy advocates concerned with the security of the images generated by the machines were not placated by software changes which the agency says make it impossible for workers to save and share body scan images, and the TSA also caught heat in 2015 for its failure to detect 95 percent of fake bombs and weapons passed through checkpoints.