Yet another reason why I may never fly on an airplane again. They’re deploying more of those millimeter wave scanners that allow agents to see through your clothes to make sure those are actually your tits and not a couple of shapely clumps of plastic explosives:
While it allows the security screeners — looking at the images in a separate room — to clearly see the passenger’s sexual organs as well as other details of their bodies, the passenger’s face is blurred, TSA said in a statement on its website.
The scan only takes seconds and is to replace the physical pat-downs of people that is currently widespread in airports.
TSA began introducing the body scanners in airports in April, first in the Phoenix, Arizona terminal.
The installation is picking up this month, with machines in place or planned for airports in Washington (Reagan National and Baltimore-Washington International), Dallas, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Miami and Detroit.
[…] “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.”
Besides masking their faces, the TSA says on its website, the images made “will not be printed stored or transmitted.”
“Once the transportation security officer has viewed the image and resolved anomalies, the image is erased from the screen permanently. The officer is unable to print, export, store or transmit the image.”
Lara Uselding, a TSA spokeswoman, added that passengers are not obliged to accept the new machines.
“The passengers can choose between the body imaging and the pat-down,” she told AFP.
Assuming we believe the TSA is telling the truth about the images existing only long enough for someone to get a good look at your goodies, and I’m not at all inclined to believe that’s true, this does nothing to stop someone with a camera phone, or just a camera, from taking pictures of the screen itself. And someone eventually will given the quality of some of the folks working as screeners for the TSA.
It’s isn’t so much a sense of vanity or modesty that makes me unwilling to have someone stare at my nekkid form on a screen so much as it being a matter of principle. There are plenty of people that I’ve shown my naked body to in a professional capacity that are probably wishing they could unsee what has been seen, but I shouldn’t have to be virtually disrobed, or groped as an alternative, just to travel someplace via airplane. The presumption shouldn’t be that I’m a terrorist without some reason to back it up.
This kind of shit, more than anything the terrorists will ever do, is what is going to cause more airlines to go belly up as people decide it’s just not worth the hassle. Especially after some idiot TSA screener decides to snap some pics and upload them to the Internet.