Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Airport Body Scanners and Privacy

To add to the hassles of airline travel, now we've got to deal with X-Ray body scanners, or, if you are opposed to that, rather invasive pat-downs. This is yet another in the long line of reasons that I really dislike flying these days. I'm going to rather agree with this article on CNN. This is more invasive, more onerous, and more...well...disturbing than any other country puts up with.

Now, TSA wants to argue that they are merely trying to keep us safe and working "with" the American people, and like to point out that in 2009 a majority of Americans agreed with the idea of having body scanners in airports. I'd like to cite a bit of buyer's remorse in this case, but moreover, I'd like to add that this a strange case of invasion of privacy. Now, for security purposes, the courts have largely argued that these agencies are able to circumvent certain laws that bind the rest of us. Certainly we've all heard of warrantless wiretaps, and how the courts are sort of okay with this, despite the fact that it violates a lot of civil liberties. But now we have a case where, if these people were not TSA agents, are undertaking actions which could easily be taken to court, or grounds for immediate termination. I mean, if I demanded to perform an "extended" pat-down on anyone, I'd be fired. If I used a backscatter X-Ray to gain images of people's bodies...well, I'd likely be charged with a lot of things, including sexual assault.

While I am all for a certain measure of security in flying, I find this excessive. I find it sad that we've had to give up on a lot of our liberties and privacy for the sake of "safety." I don't think this is ever a good trade-off, and I hope that sometime in the near future we can have sensible security measures at airports that are not this invasive and...well...absurd.

1 comment:

bene yamin said...

To add to the hassles of airline travel, now we've got to deal with X-Ray body scanners, or, if you are opposed to that, rather invasive pat-downs. This is yet another in the long line of reasons.Gatwick Parking