I have been following the testing of new technology in train stations over the past year or so. It has been hard to find information on exactly what technology has been used. This NPR report has bad news for those of us who value liberty: portable naked scanners are now being used on subway commuters.
"As travelers approached the large black box on wheels, known as a portable millimeter wave scanner, they appeared on its screen as energy waves."
Millimeter wave scanning is the same technology being used in airports. The machine is looking through your clothes -- and, quite probably, your skin -- in real time. The computer software no longer shows the offensive nude image of a passenger, but marks the locations of suspicious items under clothes. This could be a prosthetic, an abnormal body part, a personal hygiene product, a legal weapon, or, in very rare cases, an illegal weapon being carried with an intent to harm. (NB: It will not catch a strategically placed weapon or explosive.)
What happens when an abnormality is found? Will you be subject to a very personal groping on your way to work?
Listen to the whole story:
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