The crusading Joel Johnson of Gizmodo has published a set of images taken from a millimeter scanning system at a Florida Federal courthouse. These images were not supposed to exist yet they do and, while the resolution of these is sub par, if these machines retain their images then we can only assume that TSA machines also keep and store these images.
At the heart of the controversy over “body scanners” is a promise: The images of our naked bodies will never be public. U.S. Marshals in a Florida Federal courthouse saved 35,000 images on their scanner. These are those images.
A Gizmodo investigation has revealed 100 of the photographs saved by the Gen 2 millimeter wave scanner from Brijot Imaging Systems, Inc., obtained by a FOIA request after it was recently revealed that U.S. Marshals operating the machine in the Orlando, Florida courthouse had improperly-perhaps illegally-saved images of the scans of public servants and private citizens.
Sadly, I don’t think the TSA is lying when it comes to the retention of these photos. Instead, it’s clear that they are incompetently trusting the word of manufacturers whose balance sheet for the next decade or so will be padded by the installation and maintenance of these machines. The blobs you see in these images are most certainly much more distinct when using newer technologies and, barring a sudden rise of free love in America, I don’t think anyone wants anyone else seeing their junk while trying to make a Jet Blue flight.