New Airport Full-Body Scans: Addresses Privacy Concerns, or Still Worrisome?

The Boston Globe reports that the Transportation Security Administration unveiled new body scanners that show less details to TSA screeners. Does this cool the debate over the scanners, or are they still worrisome?

When full-body scanners at airports became prevalent at airports in recent years, it stoked a debate over whether the scanners are too invasive.

Yesterday, however, the Boston Globe reported that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) unveiled new body scanners that show less details to TSA screeners. Instead of detailed images viewed in a private room by security personnel, the scanners initially only produce generic outlines of passengers, while still picking up on weapons or suspicious objects on a would-be traveller's body. 

When full-body scans were introduced, some protested that the images were too intrusive and that the scans themselves would be ineffective because they would not detect "low-density" materials like plastics, chemicals and liquids. Others argued over health risks. Passengers were not required to go through the full-body scanners and could opt out for a pat-down.

Those in favor of the scanners argued that they reveal metallic and non-metallic items, are less instrusive and more effective than pat-downs, and that they do not produce naked images of travellers—a concern seemingly rendered moot by the new scanners, which use electromagnetic waves instead of X-rays.

With yesterday's announcement by the TSA, we want to know: Has your opinion of full-body scanners at the airport changed? Did you opt-out before and won't anymore, or do you still have concerns over the full-body scans? Or did you not have any problem with the scanners in the first place? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

paul surette February 13, 2013 at 10:27 PM
Donald, Reynolds Wrap called....they said your tin foil hat is ready to be picked up :)
EL Landers February 13, 2013 at 11:46 PM
One can't always just NOT fly. In an emergency, in order to get there in a timely manner, one often HAS to. It's not really a choice. I just love when someone says there's a choice....just don't fly. They obviously have never faced an emergency where one absolutely has to fly. Donald is right. I'm familiar with Logan Airport and there are dozens of other ways someone can get nearly anything through security.
quasimodo February 14, 2013 at 06:09 PM
Like always, it’s all about money, and these controversial x-ray scanners are apparently here to stay! Back in Oct, 2012, TSA signed a $245 million contract with American Sciences & Engineering (AS&E), although, at present, the TSA has about 250 mothballed such machines, which cost the government $40 million. It now intends to have these machines installed in federal government buildings in order to justify their being purchased. At the same time, these x-ray scanners being removed from major airports are being moved to smaller airports all over the country. The fact remain that the probability of dying in a terrorist attack is the same as the probability of getting cancer when passing through the x-ray scanner just one time.


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