The Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) is coming under fire for allegedly doing “peep show” naked body scans of women who agents think are attractive.
Ellen Terrell told CBS 11 in Dallas that agents at DFW International Airport asked her to go through the invasive scanner three times because “[t]hey wanted a nice good look.”
A female agent at the checkpoint surprised Terrell by asking, “Do you play tennis?”
“And I said, ‘Why?’ She said, ‘You just have such a cute figure,’” the Texan recalled.
Speaking to agents viewing the scans in another room, the female agent claimed the images had been “blurry” and asked Terrell to go through a second and third time.
But after the third scan, the female agent appeared to get frustrated as she radioed her co-workers.
“She’s talking into her microphone and she says, ‘Guys, it is not blurry, I’m letting her go. Come on out,’” Terrell said.
While only female agents are allowed to pat down female travelers, the agency does allow male agents to view body scans of females.
After looking at over 500 TSA complaints, CBS 11 found a pattern of possible sexual harassment of female passengers.
“I feel I was targeted by the TSA employee to go through the see-you-naked machine because I am a semi-attractive female,” one woman wrote.
“TSA staff ‘trolling’ the lines looking for people to pull out was unprofessional,” another accusation said. “I know he went to that room to see my naked body through the machine with the other guy.”
“When I looked around, I saw that there were only women that were ‘told’ to go through this machine. There were no men,” one complaint noted.
This comment seemed to sum up most of the women’s charges: “Making American citizens unwilling victims of a peep show by TSA employees using full body imaging devices is an over-the-top invasion of privacy to which I strenuously object.”
In a statement, the TSA said that any person could opt-out of the body scanner by requesting a pat-down.
“TSA does not profile passengers,” the agency insisted. “All of our millimeter wave technology units including those in Dallas have been upgraded with additional privacy enhancements that no longer display passenger-specific images. Even prior to this upgrade, officers reviewing the images were located in a separate room and would have never seen the passenger being screened.”
A spokesperson told CBS 11 that it is against protocol to make more than two attempts at a full-body scan before requiring a pat-down.
Watch this video from CBS 11, broadcast Feb. 13, 2012.