If you ever saw the late 80’s flick “Total Recall,” you might recall a stud Arnold Schwarzenegger gliding by airport security in seconds after merely walking by an X-ray device. Unfortunately we’re not there yet, but we’re getting closer. Are we all a bowl of cheerios about it? Surprisingly –no.
When you strip us all down to skeletons, we’re pretty much stripped down to the mere identification of a species. However, leave the flesh, the fat, and visible anatomical features –and you’re left with a semi nude images that for some are too graphic for comfort. A quick browsing of the full body scanned images made by the new TSA security scanners, and even I am left a little anxious for the days where walk-by X-rays machines are invented –and implemented. Till that day comes, there are over 40 airports with these scanners at a price tag of about $170,000 a pop.
Advocates of these new scanners say they work much faster than the traditional pat-down search, but further research tells they’re only used for random passenger security testing. Opponents of the technology wonder if the security is worth the invasion of privacy.
Chris Calabrese, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union comments on the issue, “A choice between being groped and being stripped, I don’t think we should pretend those are the only choices. People shouldn’t be humiliated by their government,” to satisfy security concerns.
Regardless, the TSA is continuing with further deployments of these full body imaging scanners saying it’s been a success. We understand terrorism is a threat, but so is a fly possibly carrying malaria. Would it still be entirely appropriate to kill all flys with sledgehammers? Maybe. maybe not. We can say however, is that it sends a strong message to any potential criminals: If something is after us, we’ll be ready for it.