The TSA spent $18.6 million to fund “non-binary systems” that are set to be rolled out in January.
The reason for this is that TSA screeners had to select the gender of the person going through the body scanners – some travelers are saying that their gender was improperly assumed.
The Transportation Security Administration spent $18.6 million in funding on “non-binary screening systems,” which are set to be rolled out in January.
Currently, TSA screeners decide whether a traveler is male or female and press a button for the body scanner corresponding with their appearance as the system scans males and females differently. And people who say their gender was improperly assumed may ask for a re-screening before a physical pat-down, and TSA rules mandate for travelers to be patted down by officers of the same gender that they appear.
Using funding from last fiscal year’s Omnibus Appropriations fund, the money went toward working with the manufacturer of Advanced Imaging Technology to update the algorithm for “increased accuracy and efficiency,” Fox News reported Thursday.
Six percent of the complaints are from members of the LGBTQ community.
TSA data shows the agency receives 26,542 screening complaints annually. 6% of those complaints are from members of the LGBTQ community. That number tracks roughly with census data from Gallup, which notes that 7% of people identify as LGBTQ.
Speaking with WCAX channel 3 news, The TSA’s Executive Director for Travel Engagement Jose Bonilla said he is confident the new sharper imaging technology will reduce the number of pat-downs and the number of complaints from minority communities.
“This technology should really be gender-neutral you know it really should be, and we’re there,” Bonilla said.
In February, TSA also updated its checkpoint protocols by removing gender considerations when validating identification. TSA employees no longer consider gender information when travelers arrive at the travel document checker podium.
Your tax dollars at work.
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