The Transportation Security Administration took a big step yesterday when it announced that it would be retrofitting its millimeter wave scanners to show only stick images of travelers rather than graphic images of their naked bodies.
The stick figures don't depict anyone's "junk."
If any unusual bulges or anomalies are caught by the scanners, those areas will be highlighted on the stick figure.
But that doesn't mean that all privacy issues with the TSA screening process are solved.
There's still the matter of what happens when the machines detect an "anomaly." At that point screeners will still engage in their invasive and humiliating patdowns.
Then there's the matter of what becomes of the original "naked" images. These machines are designed to store such images, and the TSA has yet to provide any kind of guarantees that operators won't be able to access the images or transmit them.
And, finally, the stick figure images will only be replacing the graphic images on the millimeter wave machines -- about half those in use. The technology is not available for backscatter machines used in other airports.
Montana airports have or are scheduled to get the millimeter wave machines.
This is a good start for TSA, but more work is needed to make sure that air passengers' privacy is protected.