Privacy at the Airport: Canadian Government Updates Airport Body Scanners

Canada’s Minister of State (Transport) announced yesterday that new software will be deployed on Canada’s full-body scanners that will enhance passenger privacy at airports.  The new software produces computer generated “stick figures” rather than an outline of the passenger’s body, enhancing privacy for air travellers.  In addition, the scanner does not collect personal information from the passenger it screens nor is the image correlated in any way with the name of the passenger or any other identifying information.

The changes likely arise in response to the decision by the United States to get rid of body scanners that could not be modified to alleviate privacy concerns.  The Electronic Privacy Information Center (a public internet research outfit in Washington, DC) claimed in a lawsuit that the scanners violated privacy laws and constituted a physically invasive strip search.

For a copy of the press release, click here.  For a copy of the Backgrounder on Transport Canada’s website, click here.