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Travelers React To News Some Body Scans Being Saved

Before body scanners started popping up at airports, the government promised no one would be able to see the very detailed images they take.

But a lawsuit filed Wednesday says otherwise. The lawsuit cites an admission by the U.S. Marshal’s Service that tens of thousands of naked images were saved on a Florida courthouse scanner.

Transportation Security Administration officials in El Paso would not speak to us on camera, but they did give ABC-7 a release claiming pictures cannot be stored, transmitted or printed and are deleted immediately.

“Oh no, they’d make somebody sick!” one passenger at El Paso International said Wednesday after being told her of the lawsuit and the pictures that had been saved on a Florida scanner. “it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t bother me at all.”

A lawsuit filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center is asking a federal judge to pull the plug on body scanners, alleging the TSA is not being straight-forward about their capabilities.

“As long as I’m safe on a plane, that’s all that matters,” another passenger said. “I wish we didn’t have to do it, but I think it’s probably a necessity, so I’m glad they’re there.”

Many of the passengers at El Paso International Airport have no problem with the body scanners, even if they are storing pictures. While others don’t like it one bit.

“OK, I don’t like that, no,” Emily Huard from Atlanta said before boarding a flight in El Paso. “That makes me really excited about going through security, hmmmmm … What’s the point of storing them? What are they doing with them?”

James Matarelli from Sacramento said, “I’m not into the body scanners. I’ll let them pat me down, that’s fine with me. My personal opinion is in the computer age, everything is stored somehow, someway.”

The TSA says the scanners are designed to respect people’s privacy and modesty to the maximum extent possible, while protecting everyone from potential catastrophic events.

In addition to the three in El Paso, there are more now more than 100 body scanners in use across the country and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says body scanners will soon be in use at every major airport. Funding is pending to purchase and deploy another 500.

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