The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that the TSA violated federal law by rolling out radiation firing body scanners in airports without soliciting public comment. The court will allow use of the scanners to continue, however.
A unanimous three-judge panel ruled that the TSA’s failure to provide notice and allow sufficient time for comment before adopting the technology as a primary passenger-screening tool was unlawful.
“[M]uch public concern and media coverage have been focused upon issues of privacy, safety, and efficacy, each of which no doubt would have been the subject of many comments had the TSA seen fit to solicit comments upon a proposal to use [advanced imaging technology] for primary screening,” the court said.
Specifically, the TSA’s actions violated the Administrative Procedure Act, which requires federal agencies to provide notice and opportunity for comment when implementing a rule that affects the rights of the public.