Local News

Does High-Tech Machine Reveal Too Much?

Posted April 7, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— A new device is giving police and correctional officers X-ray vision. And giving others pause for thought.

The device is called the Secure 1000 Scanner. The new machine is designed to detect hidden weapons and is being tested in Raleigh and one other U.S. city.

But concealed weapons are not the only things revealed by the new device. The machine also generates an anatomically correct computer image of the person being scanned. Those who support the new technology say the protection provided outweighs privacy rights.

Correctional Captain Marshall Hudson says the machine is quick, painless and very effective.

At Central Prison, corrections officers hand search several hundred inmates each day as they move them from one area to another. Marshall says the new machine is being tested as a time-saving alternative to that process.

The concern some have is that, even with sensitive areas covered, the image may be too revealing for some people's tastes.

Similar scanners may some day be used in airports and courthouses.