Aug 4, 2010
The Electronic Privacy Information Center said Tuesday that documents it has obtained show that the body scanners being used at federal courthouses can store and record the images of those scanned with the devices.
As part of a settlement of its Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the U.S. Marshals Service, EPIC obtained more than 100 images of undressed individuals from the scanning devices used at federal courthouses
EPIC has filed two other lawsuits against the Department of Homeland Security related to the use of body scanners. The first FOIA lawsuit is aimed at obtaining more information about the use of body scanners in U.S. airports, including 2,000 images it says DHS has refused to release. A second petition against DHS, filed last month, seeks to obtain an emergency stay against the use of the scanners in U.S. airports.
EPIC said documents it has obtained from DHS show the machines used by the department’s Transportation Security Administration at some U.S. airports also can record and store images from the body scanners even though they are slightly different from the scanners used at federal courts. When asked if TSA has stored any images from passengers, EPIC staff counsel Ginger McCall said TSA claims it has not stored such images, but EPIC believes that statement is false.
She said the airport body scanners are not secure enough and voiced concern that the images stored on them could be transferred to an external device such as a USB flash drive.