Travelers passing through Oakland International Airport's Terminal 1 will now be screened with a new advanced-imaging technology machine.
The Oakland airport's scanner is the 157th such machine that the TSA has installed at airports around the country and the third in the Bay Area. The machines are already in place at the San Francisco and San Jose airports.
Some passengers have objected to the machines because they create a nude facsimile of each person who is scanned.
But Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Suzanne Trevino said today that the agency is doing all it can to protect passengers' privacy.
Travelers can opt out of the full-body scan and choose to be checked with a conventional metal detector instead.
Trevino said the machine's monitors are out of the public's view and images of passengers are deleted after each scan. The officer who reviews the images sits in a separate room with no windows or recording devices, she said.
Trevino said the new advanced-imaging technology safely screens passengers for both metallic and non-metallic items, including weapons and explosives.
She said the machines detect items that may be concealed under a passenger's clothing, allowing the TSA to screen people without physical contact.
Trevino said a second machine will be installed at Oakland's Terminal 2 in the near future. She said the TSA will have a total of 450 machines deployed at airports around the nation by the end of the year.
Trevino said the TSA started testing and using the new machines in 2007 and had 40 of them in use across the country before a reputed terrorist from Nigeria allegedly tried to detonate an explosive device he had hidden in his underwear on a Detroit-bound airplane on Christmas Day.
She said the TSA sped up the installation of the machines after the incident.
Trevino said 98 percent of passengers at airports where the machines are in use have chosen to use them.
She said there have only been 600 complaints since the machines were put into use in 2007, which she said represents only a tiny percentage of the millions of passengers who are screened.