NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is seeking to make it illegal for anyone to distribute or record the revealing images produced by full-body scanners at airports.

The Democrat introduced such a bill Sunday. Penalties could include up to a year in prison and fines up to $100,000, or both.

“Anyone who would try to use these images for purposes other than security should be severely punished,” Schumer told The Associated Press.

The machines can peer through people’s clothing, but the Transportation Security Administration says the images cannot be stored, transmitted or printed and are deleted after being reviewed. The images are blurred to mask the identity of the person.

Passengers can opt instead for a new pat-down that includes the crotch and chest.

But privacy advocates say current safeguards fail to ensure that the images produced by the machines can’t be misused by TSA employees or other workers. Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Privacy Information Center have argued that the machines are too invasive.

Asked what he thought about the scanners, Schumer said he didn’t oppose their use. “You need to balance security and privacy,” he said.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (6)
  1. Ann says:

    It’s a start, Mr. Schumer.

    But better yet, get these scanners out of the airports like Italy did because they said they were ineffective.

    Certainly by now you realize that it’s both a health-and-privacy concern; and both are equally valid.

    Join with your congressional colleagues who also have expressed concerns about the new security measures:

    Susan Collins
    John Mica
    Rush Holt
    Ted Poe
    Ron Paul
    Jason Chaffetz
    Mike Doherty
    John J. Duncan, Jr.
    Phil Hart
    Collin Peterson

    [If anyone can add to the list (or has corrections) please do so.]

  2. Mark says:

    Don’t put up with this garbage! Boycott Flying COMPLETELY, until sanity returns! Please join us on Facebook:

  3. paul says:

    how is a TSA employee going to pay the $100,000 fine. The people that protect our skies make peanuts.

  4. Timothy Adewale says:

    Timjothy A,
    well i see the scan as one of better ways to curb insecurity and bad travellers that destroy the image of good, and geniune migrants and travellers but sincerely all countries thyat embraced this new tecnology should punish anybody that reveal such privacy seriously. Imean seriously. Its my naked am entitled to the privacy till death.

  5. mike says:

    Fully agree with Otto! This is useless bandaid to appeal to voters, but the true invasion of privacy was not address. Typical spineless political approach to the problem! Common Chuck, I thought you had more guts the that!

  6. otto says:

    Sorry Chuckles, not good enough.

    Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

    Full body scanners … shoe removal … it is not about security. It is about getting the American people to submit to the will & power of government in small incremental stages. Ultimately, REX-84 will be implemented and it will be too late.

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