The TSA implemented new policy that says officials can mandate that passengers go through full-body scans at airports. Previously passengers who had reservations about the scanners were able to choose a full-body pat-down from TSA workers instead of submitting to the full-body scan. Now the scans, called Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT), can be required by TSA workers after a December 18 update to TSA policy. The update reads in part: "TSA is updating the AIT PIA to reflect a change to the operating protocol regarding the ability of individuals to opt opt-out of AIT screening in favor of physical screening. While passengers may generally decline AIT screening in favor of physical screening, TSA may direct mandatory AIT screening for some passengers."
There's still a good chance a passenger can opt for a pat-down, but there's no guarantee a busy TSA worker will comply with the request. The TSA screens approximately 2 million people each day at nearly 450 airports nationwide. Early concerns about the potentially problematic physical impact on people due to radiation emitted by AIT have been largely checked.
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