Airport Scanners See All, Know All

Yahoo published an article today about airport scanners:

Scanners that see though clothing installed in US airports

They have one of these at SFO. My sister was told to go through it when she was on her way to Egypt but argued her way out of it. I saw the massive scanner as I made my way through security when I was going to England, wondering what I was going to do or say if they said I had to go through it.

Luckily for me, I just got a pat down.

I have to admit, these scanners scare me a bit because of all the detail they give. My brother was wondering what the big deal was when we were discussing it a while ago and I was like, dude, don’t you know how intrusive these things are?

According to the article, a lot of activist groups have issues with it as well:

“People have no idea how graphic the images are,” Barry Steinhardt, director of the technology and liberty program at the American Civil Liberties Union, told AFP.

The ACLU said in a statement that passengers expecting privacy underneath their clothing “should not be required to display highly personal details of their bodies such as evidence of mastectomies, colostomy appliances, penile implants, catheter tubes and the size of their breasts or genitals as a pre-requisite to boarding a plane.”

Fortunately, you can apparently choose between the scanner or the pat down if security singles you out.


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