What You Should Know About Airport Scanners

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Going through security at the airport might be necessary but it’s also a miserable experience. You can help make the experience a lot more pleasant by not wearing a lot of metal jewelry and choosing slip-on shoes to easily take off and put back on. 


But, walking through the scanners, are you even aware of what they see? You might just be relieved to learn your privacy is safe and there’s nothing the scanners see that is inappropriate at any given time. 

So, here’s the story about airport scanners.

According to a spokesperson for the Office of Public Affairs for TSA, the most recent scanners for TSA or Transportation Security Administration use advanced Image Technology (AIT). 

TSA uses millimeter-wave imaging technology which are harmless electromagnetic waves to detect any potential threats.

So, What Do These Scanners See?

The monitor shows a generic cookie-cutter outline of a person that highlights any potential threats. All these images are the same, there is no gender, body type or height. 


The scanner’s software only recognizes metallic and non-metallic items that are hidden under clothing. Using yellow boxes, the machine processes the image to point out any areas that might require further screening. 

If there are no issues, the agent will get a green “OK” light on the screen without boxes or outlines. The person scanned can see the image when they exit the scanner.

Can Airport Scanners See Someone Naked?

Before the AIT scanners, they used Rapiscan backscatter screening machines. These machines used ionizing radiation or X-rays to scan the body. 


According to authorities with the department of Security Threat Assessment Operations, backscatter screening is no longer in airports because of the explicit details. 

The airport removed approximately 200 of those full-body scanners since the company could not update the technology for greater privacy. To date, federal law requires privacy software filters for full-body scanners.

So, to answer the question, No TSA cannot see anyone naked. When you walk through security they can only detect any potential threats. So when you have to walk through security, you are fully protected and no one can see your body naked. 

You will be on your way to a great vacation or business trip without any concerns about your privacy being invaded!