With the holiday travel season approaching more people than ever before will be flying to their vacation or holiday destination. This also means that more people than ever before will finally be subjected to the newest in a long time of airport security measures, in this case a full body scan. But there are those who disagree with the full body scan and are standing up and getting patted down in an effort to protect traveler’s privacy rights. They are calling for a National “Opt Out” day on November 24 and every day.
What are full body scanners at airports?
Advanced Imaging Technology machines (known as full body scanners) are basically refrigerator size “boxes” that expose your body to a big enough dose of radiation to be able to capture a picture of your entire body through your clothing. You walk into the “box” and hold your arms straight up above your head and in about 10 seconds the image is taken. We are told this is so that no one can smuggle weapons or bombs onto flights. Think full body x-ray – but all at once.
What are the concerns about full body scanners?
First there are the health concerns about the amount of radiation you are exposed to in order to capture your image, especially if you fly often.
For others it privacy concerns; with fears that TSA officials will be viewing our entire body, shape and parts, and even possibly sharing those images thinking it “funny.”
Yet others have concerns about the violation of our personal, constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure. Since when is purchasing a ticket considered a reason to have our most intimate parts scrutinized, in what some people are calling a virtual “strip search”?
And for yet others fear and question, “Where will it stop?” if we continue to allow a government organization to institute more security measures.
Can you refuse the full body scanners?
You can “opt out” or refuse the full body scan, but if you do be prepared for the consequences. And, those are: fellow passengers grumbling because of the wait time at security while a rather vigorous “pat down” search is made of your person. This pat down will include touching of your breast and genitals through your clothing. Some airports offer a private room for this search while others conduct it out in the open.
Does your airport have full body scanners?
Many major airports across the United States have started using full body scanner technology. Among those are Atlanta, Chicago O’Hare, Houston Bush Intercontinental, Los Angeles and all Washington DC airports. Find out if your airport will be using full body scanners during your holiday travels with this helpful list of scanners and those that are “coming soon at airports near you.”
Will you or anyone in your family be “opting out” of the full body scanner or will airport security be a “frisky” affair for you when you travel? Whichever choice you make; be sure to allow for at least 2 hours or more to get through the ticket counter and airport security during this busy travel season.
USA Today Nov. 17, 2010 “Backlash over Pat Downs”
ABC News.com, “Are Airport Full Body Scans Dangerous?”
The Tennessean “Nashville Fliers Feel Frisked”