When the TSA introduced millimeter-wave scanners at airports to replace metal detectors, there was public outcry against them because they essentially capture a naked image of the person in the scanner. So of course, after the TSA completely missed the 2009 Christmas Day Underwear Bomber, which highlighted the fact that the agency has never caught a terrorist (though it did let through a stun gun and 12″ razor blades), they decided to step up the use of the naked body scanners. You know, for our protection, not just to add another plot device to their security theater. Leave it up to the Germans to actually test the wretched things to see if they do anything but generate and catalog nude drawings, which… no, they don’t do anything else.
After testing them for almost a year, here’s what the Germans found:
- 70% of the time, they raise one false alarm
- 35% of the time, they raise multiple false alarms
- 10% of the time, they get confused by the person’s posture
- Uncommon things like multiple layers of clothing, zippers and pleats also confuse them
In other words, even a psychic would do a much, much better job at guessing who the terrorists are.