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What Happens To Airport Scanner Body Images?

By Jason Beahm on February 22, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the internet.

In this age of terrorism fear and increased security, we live with the necessary hassle of full-body scanners at airports. While going through these scanners can be time consuming and a hassle as we try to make our way onto our flights, have you thought about what happens to the scanned images of your body?

Well, if you haven't, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer has given this some thought. Indeed, he is proposing a bill that would make it illegal for anyone to distribute or copy these images in an unauthorized fashion.

Penalties potentially could include fines of as much as $100,000, up to a year in prison, or possibly both.

The Transportation Security Administration reportedly has stated that the images are deleted after review, the images are not susceptible of storing, printing or distributing, and that blurring of images blocks individual identification.

Still, Schumer's bill is designed to add legal force just in case as to technology that scans under our clothing.

While security is vital, privacy is important too.

Eric Sinrod is a partner in the San Francisco office of Duane Morris LLP ( where he focuses on litigation matters of various types, including information technology and intellectual property disputes.  His Web site is and he can be reached  To receive a weekly email link to Mr. Sinrod's columns, please send an email to him with Subscribe in the Subject line. This column is prepared and published for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.  The views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author's law firm or its individual partners.

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