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How a company is screening public spaces without exposing sensitive details

Grete Suarez

The summer vacation season means lots of travel — and long lines at airport security checkpoints and other events.

However, people being screened sometimes fear that, in airports and other public spaces, their intimate body details are being exposed by advanced technology.

U.K.-based Thruvision, whose screening technology was recently contracted by the State Department has deployed 200 of its people screening technologies at major transportation hubs worldwide.

That includes Los Angeles World Airports which manages LAX and LA Metro airports. Earlier this year, Thruvision was asked by the TSA to update its full-body scanning technology to address certain privacy concerns, according to The L.A. Times.

Yet Kevin Gramer, Americas vice president of Thruvision insisted on “YFi PM” that the company’s technology safeguards travelers’ privacy.

“As technology evolves to address the evolving threat, our technology is a safe and effective people screening technology,” Gramer said

“We maintain a safe and respectful piece on that so we’re not seeing any anatomical details,” he added— even as the tech is able to pick up potential weapons.

Thruvision’s screening units can be fixed at various locations, depending on the environment.

“We can deploy them on the ceiling, on the walls, in tactical deployment system, so they’re very flexible from a deployment standpoint,” Gramer said.

That may alarm some over privacy concerns, but Gramer insisted the onus is on the user. In public spaces, venues are required to disclose monitoring technologies.

“Our technology is agnostic to the event,” Gramer said.

Thruvision people screener deployed at transportation hubs including Los Angeles World Airports and LA Metro (Credit: Thruvision)

The people screener uses passive terahertz (THz) technology that measures energy from the body, and the items that blocks that energy shows up on the scan.

It not only detects metal objects, it can also pick up non-metallic threats, such as 3D printed guns and explosives, from up to 25 feet away. The tech can be fixed at a covert location.

“We look at powders, plastics, liquids, gels, ceramics, all the items a metal detector would not normally catch,” Gramer said.

Grete Suarez is producer at Yahoo Finance for YFi PM and The Ticker. Follow her on Twitter: @GreteSuarez

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