TSA to test new body scanning system in Las Vegas

February 1, 2011 5:32:20 AM PST
The Transportation Security Administration is testing a new, more modest body scanning system at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. Critics have complained that the full-body scans are intrusive, but TSA spokesman Dwayne Baird says the software being unveiled Tuesday lets passengers see what its security screeners see, and it uses a more generic image.

He says the TSA is trying to determine whether it can improve privacy protections and maintain the same security levels.

There are nearly 500 full-body scanners in use at 78 airports.

The scans show a traveler's physical contours on a computer screen and can reveal hidden weapons or explosives. Faces aren't shown, and the images are viewed in a private room, but many people say it still reveals too much about what's under their clothes.