The agency scrapped the scanners after privacy activists complained about the nude images they produced, but jailhouses are now using them to scan inmates for contraband
After the Transportation Security Agency pulled 171 full-body scanners from airports amid privacy concerns last year, it distributed most of them to jails around the country, the LA Times reports.
The scanners effectively created nude images to detect objects hidden beneath the subject’s clothes, and the TSA dropped the technology when the manufacturer didn’t provide software to protect the passengers’ privacy.
It now uses a different type of full-body scanner that shows a cartoon image of a person and alerts the screener of possible hidden weapons with yellow boxes.
But at least 154 of the previous version have been distributed to law enforcement agencies in Arkansas, New York, Michigan and elsewhere, the Federal Times first reported. The scanners cost between $130,000 and $170,000, but the law enforcement agencies received them for much less under a federal surplus program.