O'Hare Body Scanners: Security System Debuts In Chicago, Amid Some Privacy Concerns

05/15/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Transportation Security Administration gave travelers a sneak peek of the controversial full-body scanner technology Monday at O'Hare Airport.

Following the attempted Christmas Day bombing in Detroit, in which Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly hid an explosive device in his underwear, many wondered if full-body scanners were what airports needed to protect the country from terrorists.

Monday's demonstration at O'Hare is designed to show the public that passengers' privacy will be protected in the process, according to the Associated Press.

But privacy advocates -- and some passengers -- are uncomfortable with the machines.

The scanners can see through clothing to detect hidden weapons, and produce an image that shows the contours of a person's body, but genitals are not visible. The AP compared the scanned images to an "outline of a ghost." The American Civil Liberties Union has likened the scans to a "virtual strip search." And some Muslim-Americans are supporting a "fatwa," or religious ruling, against the scanners, calling them a violation of Islamic modesty laws.

Some O'Hare passengers were not thrilled about the scanners Monday. "I feel violated knowing they can see under my clothes," traveler Rainie Jones told NBC Chicago. "I'm a very modest person."

Others, however, were more forgiving.

"It doesn't bother me," said Wanda Frawley. "They have to do what they have to do."

O'Hare is the first of 11 airports to receive the machines as part of a $25 million federal program, funded by the stimulus.

Watch passengers get scanned:

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcchicago.com/video.

Watch traveler reactions:

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcchicago.com/video.

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