In February, when TSA began to field-test the software, Bob repeated that the agency would "no longer have to staff an officer in a separate room." But now that the software is going nationwide, Bob has tweaked his language: TSA will "no longer have to place an officer in a separate room to view the images." The word "staff" has been removed, and the phrase "to view the images" has been added, so that the original labor-saving rationale now looks like a privacy rationale.
I'm glad TSA is automating its analysis of body scans. The new policy restores a measure of dignity and shows that the encroachment of the security state isn't inexorable. But let's not pretend TSA would have done this just for privacy. It did it to save money.