The new, less revealing machines are meant to quiet complaints from travelers worried that the outline of their private parts were showing up in front of nearby TSA agents. "Many travelers were not happy that naked images of themselves were displayed to TSA officers in a nearby room," CNBC reported in October. The replacement scanners are meant to do that, as PCmag reported in 2011: "Getting rid of passenger-specific images means that a separate TSA agent will no longer have to watch scanner images in a separate room, which TSA said will make the airport security process more efficient." The new L-3 scanners, which were already used in some of the nation's less busy airports, pop out (slightly) less offensive "avatars," as The Los Angeles Times's Hugo Martin explains:
A second type of TSA scanner, built by L-3 Communications Holdings, uses radio waves and shows hidden objects on an avatar images on a screen -- not on an image of a passenger.
Well, if we're going to invest in machines that might not even be that good at catching terrorists, then a naked avatar of you is better than an actual naked you, right?