The TSA is doing away with full body, X-ray scanners at major airports in the U.S. and are replacing them with less intrusive models. The old scanners will be sent to airports that aren't so busy.
The controversial backscatter scanners have been used at U.S. airports since 2009. These security machine are also called "naked X-ray machines" because of the intrusive pictures that they produce, which are seen by TSA agents in a nearby room, according to CNBC.
The idea of being "naked" in front of a TSA agent made travelers uncomfortable and they're also concerned with the risks of radiation exposure.
The new machines, called millimeter wave Advanced Image Technology (AIT) machines supposedly have fewer risks. The TSA hopes that the new machines will speed up the security process as they can scan people in less than 10 seconds, the Chicago Tribune says.
The new machines that will replace the backscatter scanners will have the same purpose, but they're not as invasive. The image that the scanner will produce is that of a cartoon. The TSA will even let passengers view the image that is shown, which should put some travelers at ease, according to CNBC.
Travelers still have to take off their shoes, belts, jewelry and remove objects from their pockets, according to TSA guidelines. The new machines still require people to stand with their legs spread and their arms over their heads during the scan. Those who don't want to be scanned can opt for a TSA pat down, according to the Tribune.
Among that airports that are having their security machines replaced are New York's John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports. Boston Logan International Airport, Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Orlando International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and Charlotte Douglas International Airport will also have the backscatter scanners removed and replaced.
"As part of an effort to maximize the efficiency and deployment of Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT), TSA is strategically moving smaller, faster AIT units to busier airports and moving the larger units to airports with less passenger volume," TSA spokesperson Sterling Payne told CNBC.com
"This move will add additional units outfitted with automated target recognition (ATR) software, which enhances privacy even more by providing a generic body outline, and eliminates the need for a separate officer in another to room to participate in screening," Payne said.
Some busy airports that continue to use the controversial Backscatter machines are Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Seattle- Tacoma International Airport and Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, according to CNBC.