FW: "Holographic" Full-Body Security Scanning

Dan Kohn (dan@teledesic.com)
Wed, 30 Oct 1996 07:23:17 -0800

>[* More great uses of the Ka band (where Teledesic will operate)!!! -
>dan *]
>Date: Sun, 27 Oct 96 15:15 PST
>From: lauren@vortex.com (Lauren Weinstein; PRIVACY Forum Moderator)
>Subject: "Holographic" Full-Body Security Scanning
>According to an article in the Oct-Nov 1996 issue of "Compressed Air"
>magazine (a wonderful Ingersoll-Rand publication that covers a very
>range of topics), the Federal Aviation Administration is planning to
>testing the use of a full-body "holographic" imaging system at a U.S.
>airport next year.
>The system (an earlier version of which was discussed previously in the
>PRIVACY Forum), actually uses millimeter waves (~30 Ghz) to quickly
>a few seconds) generate a "naked" image of the scannee. The device has
>under development for a number of years and appears to be evolving
>The transmitted millimeter radiation passes through clothes but bounces
>the body or other objects (e.g., everything from loose change to
>hidden money packets, etc.)
>Outside of the rather obvious broader privacy implications of such a
>two special issues should also be considered. First, even though the
>millimeter radiation used is non-ionizing (e.g. less energetic than
>there is considerable controversy about the health risks of exposure to
>non-ionizing radiation at these wavelengths. The statement is made
>that the
>system is similar in exposure to supermarket "door opener" microwave
>scanners, though this seems somewhat difficult to accept given the
>completely different scanning requirements of the two devices.
>But another problem may be even more likely to concern the public at
>about such equipment. As the photographs included with the article
>show all
>too clearly, the device generates quite detailed "nude" images. It is
>decidedly uncertain how people will feel about being required to pass
>through a system that creates instant 360 degree naked pictures,
>archived to tape as well! The promoters of the system suggest that
>"same-sex" operators would alleviate these concerns. Excuse me, but
>are we
>all living on the same planet? Talk about needing a reality check...
>I have no doubt that there might be special situations where such a
>as an alternative to "pat-downs" or other intrusive personal searches,
>be useful. But broadscale deployment of such systems in airports as a
>routine body scanning procedure seems unlikely to be acceptable to most
>the public.