TSA’s New Body Scanners

by Kelsey McCauley

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Before and after September 11th, safety has been a huge concern in airports across the country and the world.  While procedures have changed and security has been tightened, we have also seen a general improvement in technology.  And while we can assume that this technology is in our best interest, many have become outraged by TSA’s newest edition to airport security.

TSA began developing advanced technology in the form of body scanners to ensure safety in 2007. The body scanners are used to detect a wide range of threats to transportation security in a matter of seconds in an attempt to protect passengers and crew.  TSA uses two types of imaging technology.  One is millimeter wave and another a backscatter.  Right now, there are 385 imaging technology units at 68 airports.

TSA body scanners are controversial because of what they reveal.

In March 2010, the technology units were purchased by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Some positives surrounding the body scanners include: They keep you safe from a variety of threats and people who hope to hurt you.  Regular scanners and metal detectors do not  have the ability to detect non-metallic weapons such as plastic and liquid explosives.  The new body scanners detect all of those things. Many believe it is better to be safe than sorry.

The negatives for the body scanners include:  While the scanners reveal weapons, they also reveal your body.  Passengers have complained to the TSA about how invasive the new body scanners are.  People have the option to opt out of the scanners, but this presents its own problem.  If people opt out of the body scanners and asked for pat downs (which takes two minutes long), it can back everyone up and the lines will be long.

The holidays are coming up, which means the busiest traveling days of the year. TSA urges holiday travelers to cooperate.  Protests of pat downs and body scans will only slow Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other travel.

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