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Privacy group sues DoJ over 'digital strip search' data

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A privacy group has filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Justice for allegedly failing to disclose information about the use of devices that capture black 'n' white images of people stripped naked.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) brought the suit against the DoJ in the US District Court of Columbia late last week.

According to EPIC, the Transportation Security Administration confirmed that the "Whole Body Imaging" (WBI) machines were being used in at least one Virginia federal court by the US Marshall Service.

"EPIC submitted a FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] request for information about these devices, including the contracts with the manufacturer of the machines, and information about technical specifications and training materials," said the group in a statement.

"The Marshall Service failed to respond adequately to the request," it claimed.

EPIC had requested the following:

All unfiltered or unobscured images captured using Whole Body Imaging technology

All contracts entered into by the U.S. Marshals Service pertaining to Whole Body Imaging systems, including contracts for hardware, software, or training

All documents detailing the technical specifications of Whole Body Imaging hardware, including any limitations on image capture, storage, or copying

All documents, including but not limited to presentations, images, and videos, used for training persons to use Whole Body Imaging systems

All complaints related to the use of Whole Body Imaging and all documents relating to the resolution of those complaints

All documents concerning data breaches of images generated by Whole Body Imaging technology.

EPIC has a copy of the filing here. The DoJ could not immediately be reached for comment at time of writing. ®

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