TSA removing controversial body scanners

But not for the reasons you think.

Image via Flickr / Inha Leex Hale

It's true--the TSA's X-Ray body scanners that caused so much controversy are being phased out in major airports and replaced with different machines. The TSA makes this switch to allow airport officials to move passengers through security faster, as the X-Ray scanners in place now slow down the process significantly.

Aside from privacy issues, one of the big concerns surrounding these high-tech X-Ray scanners was cancer risk from the radiation. But according to the TSA, they are switching for practical rather than safety reasons. But there are other benefits as well, from both a safety and privacy standpoint. The new machines are said to be safer and also less revealing, because they only give a cartoon image of the person they scan.

The switch has already been made in several big airports and the TSA continues to move the scanners from larger airports to smaller ones, replacing them in the larger airports with "millimeter-wave scanners." Those use low-energy radio waves and can spot threats quickly via computer technology.

[via ProPublica]

Related on SmartPlanet:

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com