With the holidays increased travel occurs. As people gear up for trips out of town via flights, there are some new screenings at airport security that many are concerned about. I’ve been getting a number of e-mails from blog readers here about this issue. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s are peak travel times and this generally causes a heightened sense of security to pop up at airports and other transportation buildings. However, this year there are lots of questions about the more invasive types of screenings.
Advances in technology have brought new types of screenings. Perhaps one of the most controversial new screenings involves body imaging technology and body scanners. EPIC has actually launched a lawsuit to suspend the implantation of these new scanners at US airports, pending an independent review. These new scanners actually generate a detailed, three-dimensional image of any body scanned. Some feel that this is a complete disregard for privacy in the name of “security.”
Flyers have had ruffled feathers over the latest exception announced by the T.S.A. The new rule grants uniformed pilots the ability to avoid body scans and pat-downs that are mandatory for all other passengers. Many passengers are voicing anger at the requirement of body scans and mandatory pat-downs, claiming they find these new screenings at airport security to be nothing short of invasive. A growing number of passengers are likening them to strip searches.
Another concern coming from flyers this season is in regards to airport scanners. Does anyone have a clue about what the long-term effects of radiation exposure from these machines is? We hear about radiation exposure in other contexts such as ct scans and medical diagnoses screenings. Where does it fit in with airport scanning?
Frequent fliers understand the need for security but find themselves feeling more and more invaded by uncomfortable and possibly questionable security standards? While new screenings at airport security have been the hot topic every holiday season since 9/11, it seems this year they have become controversial. What is the balance between personal freedom and national security?