The measure might seem culled from the pages of a George Orwell novel, but the agency claims it isn't concerned with what you're reading. Privacy advocates beg to differ, though, as Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst for the American Civil Liberties Union argued on Friday that the practice could indeed be problematic: "A person who is reading a book entitled 'Overcoming Sexual Abuse' or 'Overcoming Sexual Dysfunction' is not likely to want to plop that volume down on the conveyor belt for all to see. Even someone reading a bestseller like '50 Shades of Grey' or a mild self-help book with a title such as 'What Should I Do With My Life?' might be shy about exposing his or her reading habits."
The practice was regionally tested at airports in Detroit, Boston, and Phoenix, Newsweek reports, but TSA's Acting Director of Media Relations Lisa Farbstein said the book-screening procedure is no longer taking place at US airports.