Tester introduces bill criminalizing misuse of airport body-scans

Measure bolsters privacy rights by protecting images collected by TSA

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today introduced legislation to strengthen privacy rights by criminalizing any misuse of airport body-scan images by Transportation Security Administration employees.

Many travelers are concerned that new high-tech scanners produce revealing body images.  TSA rules forbid security screeners from saving or identifying the images.

But Tester’s legislation would make it a federal crime to permanently photograph, record or distribute any image produced using a full-body scanner.

“Montanans need to be safe when they board a plane, but they also don’t want their privacy rights stomped on in the process,” said Tester, a member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.  “We’ve got to continue doing everything necessary to keep folks safe. With a little common sense, we can achieve that result in a smart way that protects the privacy of law-abiding Americans.”

Employees of federal agencies like the IRS and the Social Security Administration are already prohibited by law from distributing citizens’ private information.  Tester’s measure would similarly ban the distribution of body-scan images taken in airports or any other federal buildings.

Federal employees who illegally record or distribute body-scan images would face up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine under Tester’s legislation.

Tester, an outspoken advocate for Americans’ privacy rights, has posted the Security Screening Privacy Act on his website, HERE.