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New York Senator Chuck Schumer introduced legislation that would make it illegal to distribute images from airport body scanners. The bill would attach penalties of up to one year in prison and/or up to a $100,000 fine.
The law would cover any sort of image distribution, including images downloaded from the scanners, or photos of scanner screens.
“Anyone who would try to use these images for purposes other than security should be severely punished,” Schumer told the Associated Press (AP). However, he doesn’t necessarily oppose the scanners themselves, though he said we need a balance between security and privacy.
Of course, these machines aren’t supposed to be capable of storing or transmitting images, meaning Schumer’s bill is either redundant or indicative of skepticism surrounding the machines’ image security. The latter seems more likely. The machines are constructed to be capable of storing and transmitting images, but supposedly that function is turned off when the devices arrive at airports. Either way, privacy groups such as the ACLU still feel the machines are too invasive and pose serious risks of privacy infringement.
So while Schumer’s bill may penalize the act of distributing images, it does little to confront the core privacy issues.
Readers, what do you think? Does this bill go far enough to deter people from disseminating scanner images?