Anonymous asked in Society & CultureCultures & GroupsSenior Citizens · 1 decade ago

Are the new security scanners in airports really necessary, or are they the biggest invasion of privacy every?

They're being tested in a few cities, including Richmond, VA. If you are selected for a random search, they do the body scan that basically allows them to actually see your body without clothes. Not to be crude, but nipples and genitalia are visible, as are all the parts that we use our clothes to cover. They can focus in so close as to even see the pores in your skin.

The person doing the scan can't see the screen, and the person who's looking at the scan can't see you, but still, a stranger is looking at your naked body.

The reason for using these scanners is to find plastic explosives.

Is this going too far?


Since someone with my same name is a terror suspect, I get a secondary screening every time I fly. I'm absolutely mortified at the prospect of going through security now.

Update 2:

I must say that I'm surprised at these responses. Most airports already have the technology to detect explosives, including plastic explosives, and the standard metal detectors do an excellent job of finding other weapons. The new machine saves only one step-- inspection of shoes. Now would you rather take off your shoes or be seen naked by strangers?

Update 3:

Oldman, my feeling is that if I'm required to do this every time I get on a plane just because my very common first and last name comes up on a terrorist list, then there's something wrong. By the way, I'll be refusing the scanner and submit to a full pat down. At least that's not made part of the TSA's computer record and won't be seen floating around on the Internet.

Update 4:

If you really think about it, passengers are probably the least likely to bring explosives onto a plane these days. What about all those baggage handlers and mechanics who go onto the plane and work on the plane. Will they be scanned each time they approach a plane?

Update 5:

"If you don't like it, don't fly."???? If this attitude is the majority in the US, then you can kiss your rights good-bye. I suppose that if they start DNA checks at security points, that should be OK too? How about tattooing barcodes on all citizens? I'm absolutely flabbergasted that so few people seem to draw the line at such an intrusive act as showing their nude bodies to get on a plane.

18 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It is going way too far. We are being scared into giving up more and more of our freedoms and allowing more personal invasions. The governments of the world have taken much more away from us than terrorists have. When our freedom is being taken away from us you here many generic statements referring to 911 or terrorist attacks as a justification for it. The simple fact is a terrorist attack will happen if someone wants to make it happen.

    First they installed metals detectors to stop people carrying metal bombs. Then the idea of liquid bombs arrived so they banned all liquid. Now its plastic bombs so we should scan everyone. Now the 'terrorists' will just think of another way apart from plastic bombs. I can think of hundreds of ways to hijack a plane and none of them include a bomb. In fact a bomb is pretty useless when it comes to hijacking a plane. You would hijack a plane to use the plane as a bomb. If you already had a bomb why would you risk trying to sneak it onto a plane? You could just walk to your destination and use it there.

    If someone is desperate to have something that you own they will break into your house regardless of whether you lock all the windows and doors, have an alarm or even carry a gun. People may do all those things to create an illusion of safety but they are not really any more safe. I don't mind people doing things like that with their homes but I have a problem with sacrificing my human rights and freedom in the name of illusion.

    RoHo: lol. The point is though if someone is desperate enough it is only going to encourage them to bring an even bigger gun so they can use it if you try to fire on them. This actually makes you less safe than not trying to use one in the first place. But the illogic of gun ownership is for another time.

  • 1 decade ago

    By the time they scan you they have probably seen more bodies than they could count and probably so bored with it they could scream. I would much rather them scan you and me than take the chance on having another 9/11. I worked in an airport back when the big thing was hi-jacking planes. We had the x-ray machines and the walk through metal detectors. We only used the hand held ones if removing the coins keys and belt buckles didn't allow the passengers to pass. One day I had to ask a woman to open her night case because we could not identify the items on the x-ray. She started going on an on about the invasion of privacy, and that she might as well live in Russia. Well the lady behind her told her, it takes four to five hours standing in line for bread, you better not grumble aloud or they will remove you from the line and you have to start from the back if they let you get back in line at all. You work and work and never have enough because the government takes so much. You can't say to a neighbor that your mayor is a jac* a**, they might turn you in because if someone turns in a trouble maker they could receive an extra provision of food. The woman said, I am from Russia it only took me 18 years to get approved to come here. She said if you would like to take my place I will buy you a one way ticket since you think it is so bad here. Everyone was listening and when she said that the crowd that was around them started applauding. The complainer, ducked her head fastened her case which we had inspected and passed, and went and set down. So sure it seems like it's going to far, but when they arrest a woman who looks to be expecting and instead find explosives taped around her trying to get on a flight to the U.S. it makes me feel like they are doing the right thing our country has our lunatics too, as well as people living amoung us that would blow us up on a moments notice if they got the word from their Taliban bosses. I don't want the chance they would be on the plane next to me wrapped in c-4. If they want to look at my body fine I don't think a 60+ body is going to turn anyone on and if I was 25 and built like a whatever I still wouldn't mind because it's my life they are trying to protect.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I had an appointment for the morning of September twelfth with a lady who knew five people who were members of the flight crews. The lady who I was to interview for a totally unrelated project was on a first name basis with these people. I finally interviewed this lady three weeks later. We both cried a lot and struggled to get through this trying time. If I thought that turning passengers upside down and shakeing them would be beneficial in preventing this tragedy from happening I would be all for it. Yes, scanners are required. No, the use of scanners does not insure one-hundred per cent that we will not have something like this occur again but we are not going to be stupid enough to allow this to happen again because people are inconvenienced or insulted by the measures taken in an effort to afford them at least some security.

    Source(s): Texan
  • 1 decade ago

    I understand your frustration. The government should clear you & give you a card or something so that you don't have to through that every time.

    I don't mind having them go through my luggage & taking off my shoes if it means that my plane is a little safer.

    My husband just flew from FL to TX & back to see his mother & his flight was delayed because there was a suitcase on the tarmac. I told him this was probably a bomb threat & he should be happy that it was out there away from the airport. This never hit the news.

    I resent the government monitoring my e-mails when they won't scan every container coming into our ports nor establish a 'no fly zone' over our nuclear plants. What's more important to national security?

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  • Poppy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    After 9/11 I would just about do anything I had to so every one would be safe. Only the people on those airplanes know the horror they went through before they crashed. We may get lax in our security and it could happen again. On the ground you can run but in an airplane the only way to go is down. Poppy

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If none of those people can actually see you, then why do you object? Personally, I would rather be seen than touched, which feels much more invasive. Even if someone sees the scan, it's not like they are looking at porn and getting a thrill out of it. They get sick of seeing body parts very quickly and just do it because it's a detail of their job, just like a doctor. But what makes you think passengers are the least likely to bring explosives aboard? That's one heck of a big assumption. And the other employees you mention do get scanned, when they arrive for work. But, all that aside, yes such precautions are necessary, even if uncomfortable. As someone else mentioned, once something horrible happens, people run around crying, "Why didn't they do something?" Well, they're doing something. If you don't like it, don't fly.

  • 1 decade ago


  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    These scans sure beat the alternative. I think some people are beginning to forget about the impact that 911 made. Life as we knew it prior to 911 changed forever. If it takes extensive scanning, so be it.

  • 1 decade ago

    They are really using this in some airports? That is going way to far in my opinion. Hey ... maybe they can give you a CT, PET, and EKG while you are there .. free of charge of course. I don't mine taking off my shoes, putting half my bag into plastic ziplocks, pulling out my laptop, but that is going to far, and sounds like paranoia rather than security issues.

  • 1 decade ago

    I am going by the motto: Better save than sorry.

    If somebody does not have anything to hide, why should it bother them? _But I am European and as I understand it, we have a bit more open way of thinking, when it comes to the naked body.

    I am sure the screener has forgotten, what he saw by the time you picked up your purse to move on to your flight.

    Sorry for the ordeal with the conflicting name.

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