See-Through Security

   By drodriguez  Jan 02, 2010

Hearing reports of the attempted bomb plot aboard a U.S. bound plane from Amsterdam this Christmas was unsettling for many of us as we were in the midst of our holiday travels.  Fortunately, the suspect was brought down and no harm was done to the hundreds of passengers aboard the flight.  In the last few days since the failed attempt, officials have been raising a lot of questions about the security measures that are now in place.  Many people are calling for airports to add a full-body scanning device for passengers to pass through during the security screening. 

The way the device works has left some people unsure about privacy issues and whether a full-body scanner would be an ethical addition to airport security.  According to a recent article from CNN, the types of scanners in trial use either high frequency radio waves or high energy rays that are even more detailed than the traditional x-ray.  The scanners produce a 3-D image displaying every contour of the body underneath the clothing so it can detect if the passenger is carrying any items against airplane regulations. 

People who are opposed to the use of this device say the scanners produce a "naked" image of the passenger which in turn violates their privacy.  Another concern is that the officer who reviews the image may abuse his/her power by storing it or even selling it for profit if it were a celebrity passenger.

The U.S. Transportation Security Agency (TSA)  insists that the images produced are not compromising in any way  and do not show details of a passenger's face, plus the officer who reviews the image sits in a room where they only see the image and not the actual person.  TheTSA also states that the scanners are not harmful to health and produce just a small amount of radio waves, less than what is produced from a cell phone. 

What do you think of the full-body scanner being added to the security screening process at airports?

Do you think this type of scanner would violate a passenger's privacy?

Make a Comment

cleanliving by cleanliving | WINDSOR, CO
Jan 04, 2010

Nobody likes the thought of being viewed by complete strangers, but unfortunately this is what it has come to in order to keep the flying public safer. It may be uncomfortable, even have some possible health risk. But if you are going to fly in this day and age with Terrorists desperately seeking ways to kill Americans - this among other things - is what it is going to take. Privacy is a thing of the past when it comes to traveling - especially flying. If you choose to fly - then get used to all the "hassles" - it is what is required to keep all of us safer.

MadHatter by MadHatter | Whitestone , NY
Jan 04, 2010

why can't they get something much similar to an XRAY machine. i don't mind this type of technology because it makes me feel safer, but then this type you can see "bits and pieces" if you know what i mean? its no different from a strip search, making you stand naked in front of a strangers eyes!

summitqwestcomp by summitqwestcomp | Cincinnati, OH
Jan 04, 2010

I think that the scanners are a great idea, especially after what happened this past Christmas. The scanning devices that they want to issue for all airports will allow for safer travel and ensure a sense of reassurance for its passengers. Of course the airports will have to be extra sensitive to the travelers after they start using this newer method, but overall, I think that they are a great idea.

intlsuperwoman by intlsuperwoman | Miami, FL
Jan 04, 2010

I am completely against this, and I travel all the time, just returning from an international trip. The very concept of "security" is a joke. There is no such thing. Terrorists will ALWAYS find a way around it. Violating people's rights in the name of security is a very slippery slope. People aren't even discussing how the terrorists ARE winning, because they are keeping the American public in FEAR which in turns makes them agree to give up their rights....the very rights which are ultimately AMERICAN. So ironic. So sad.

JessicaS by JessicaS | san antonio, TX
Jan 04, 2010

Asa long as the technology isn't harmful, I see no problem with it. What, other than the thought of being seen "naked" would be an issue? If the focus is to search for explosive materials, none of us should worry about being scanned. It seems to me that it would reduce the amount of profiling, getting through security would speed up and we would all be safer. Also, is it less invasive than being pat down, "wanded" and other security measures already in place?

pjclayton57 by pjclayton57 | Oceanport, NJ
Jan 04, 2010

I have mixed emotions on this topic however I would rather be safe than sorry. While it is definitely an invasion of our privacy, I would rather be invaded than non-existent.

Niveya by Niveya | DE PERE, WI
Jan 04, 2010

I would rather be a little uncomfortable for a few minutes than dead because airport security was scanning your 90 year old grandmother, rather than someone more likely to be up to something.

mardel by mardel | SCHAUMBURG, IL
Jan 04, 2010

I believe this is an invasion of privacy! There has to be other methods to use without making the person feel uncomfortable!! I believe in being safe than sorry but come on we live in a high tech world! Lets come up with something better!

stefaniek99 by stefaniek99 | SILVER SPRING, MD
Jan 03, 2010

I am for this technology for the reasons that everyone else have mentioned. However, I went through one of these once and was never told that people would essentially be seeing me naked (this was awhile ago when this was brand new). I only found out later! I think some sort of very quick info should be given, perhaps on simple posters while standing in line, rather than just telling people "stand here." This is new technology and we should know what's going on and what alternatives there are if any.

idahospud by idahospud | haines, AK
Jan 03, 2010

Better safe than sorry.I would much rather have the security guard looking at my body,than having search & rescue finding pieces of it.

msfriendly by msfriendly | MONROE, WI
Jan 03, 2010

I'd rather have this and be more safe. It will be a routine job for the employees looking at the scanner. They're looking for weapons and bombs and not there to "check you out".

thenesteffect by thenesteffect | SOUTH OGDEN, UT
Jan 02, 2010

Personally I'd much rather have this type of security at airports. It's smarter technology that can help keep everyone safe. I don't care that it shows a full body x-ray that it's "anatomically correct". Those who are watching the screens will be so used to seeing these "naked" bodies that nothing will phase them anyways. I'd say the only "invasion of privacy" would be if the pictures were being shown to all passengers in the airport. But as long as it's staying "under wraps" so only those monitoring can see, I don't see what the big deal is. We have one of these machines in the Salt Lake City airport and I've never seen anyone refuse to go through it for any reason. I think that the news stations are making a bigger deal out of it than it needs to be. If anything, they're creating the "problems" that people have with the machine.