Monday, January 11, 2010

Full Body Scan

Okay, so I'm not the only one who's petrified about being digitally stripped like this in front of airport security personnel. It's bad enough that I get poked fun at about one in every five times I fly. I've had a security man look at my ID, look at me (both with bright magenta hair) and say, "I'm not sure if this is you have any other distinguishing marks?" I've had another make his wand beep artificially over my breasts and then laugh when he saw my expression, saying "I'm just playin'." Some people just don't handle themselves well and people like that don't have any place looking beneath my clothes.

I'll agree that I'm not exactly an exhibitionist. I've been called prude and borderline frigid, but you don't have to be prudent to feel violated having your hidden shapes projected on a screen to people that you don't have any relationship with.

That said, I'm actually comfortable with the new rules for the new generation of scanners setting to be deployed in the airports. First of all, they've done away with the photo-real pictures and are instead creating characterized images for display. To the right is a sample of the new style.

Along the same lines, they have disabled the ability for the machines to capture, save or send these images. That means that there's a constant and real-time visual, but as soon as you're gone, so is the picture. I'm okay with that. It's a lot better than having to go through a tactile search by security looking for hidden weapons. We already have to take off our shoes because of a resourceful bomber, I'm not willing to take off my panties before I'm allowed to get on a plane.

Look. If having this multi-million dollar equipment in every airport will deter people from bringing their tweezers and nail-clippers on the airplanes, then by all means, fire them up! I'd hate to be the target of an extremist plucker.


Kristy said...

Sorry babe, but I disagree. The money would be much better spent preventing deaths in other ways. Air travel is still (even with the threat of terrorists and with all the deaths from 9/11) much, much safer than driving. Even though the stats are overwhelming, we think nothing of jumping in our car each and every day but we worry about the next plane that may or may not fall out of the sky. Why not invest this money into something like installing breathalyzers in every vehicle or by investing in technology which prevents highway accidents. Either of those would save so many more lives than what will be prevented with this scanner. Just my two cents.

Kiki said...

While I'm not frightened by the idea of them anymore, my approval of them is actually semi-in-jest. These things aren't going to detect chemicals in underwear. They sure aren't going to detect cleverly disguised items in carry-ons either. The bomber went to the restroom before he came out to fry his undies. I'm willing to bet that the majority of this bomb came out of the overhead compartment at some point.

While I agree that safety measures are required elsewhere, I don't think that the money going to these areas is available for redistribution. I have a feeling it's dictated to air travel one way or the other. Maybe we could use it to set an alarm to warn Facebooking pilots that their destination is near!

Retro Rambler said...

I disagree as well. We do not know the potentially harmful effects on frequent flyer's and the new Backscatter x-ray technology they use. As for the image being deleted after you leave, this is not true. Just this week 100 of those images were released on the web accidentally.

Kiki said...

A very scary possibility! The leaked images weren't from the "naked scanners", but it looks like the ability for the new machines to save is now in question as a result:

Kiki said...

Fun fact...the airports are fed-up, too!