Full-Body Scan Privacy Law Gets One Step Closer To Reality

Back in December, we wrote about the law being proposed by Senator Chuck Schumer that would make it a crime to distribute or save images taken as part of an airport security scan. That law has come one step closer to becoming a reality after being unanimously accepted as an amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Bill being considered by the Senate.

The legislation, known as Security Screening Confidential Data Privacy Act, ensures that anyone — airport staff or member of the public — with access to scanned body images would be prohibited from photographing or disseminating those images. Violators could face up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000 per violation.

In addition to airports, the bill would also cover images from scans in courthouses and federal office buildings. It also covers not just the original image files, but any photographs taken by cameras, cell phones or any other video device.

“This law sends a loud and clear message to the flying public, not only will we do everything we can to protect your safety, we will also do everything we can to protect your privacy,” said Schumer. “As we put in place new technologies to detect and capture those who wish to do us harm, we need to do everything we can to protect the privacy rights of the air travelers.”

By being attached to the non-controversial FAA Reauthorization Bill, which sets travel policy for the entire country and funds the Federal Aviation Administration, insiders tell Consumerist that the privacy legislation is virtually guaranteed to pass. The Senate is expected to vote on the complete bill as early as this week.