Modification Of New Screening Machine Leaves Some Dissatisfied

Posted Dec 27, 2006 by Carolyn E. Price

The Transportation Security Administration has decided to modify its new low intensity x-ray machine before they use it to screen airport passenger in January
After pressure from concerned citizen's groups, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has agreed to modify its x-ray machines so that it will blur passenger's intimate body parts. Opponents of the change say it is a "concession to personal modesty" and it will compromise the effectiveness of the machine.
Civil liberties proponents objected to the X-Ray Backscatter machines after the TSA introduced them. The TSA says they need these new devices to allow screeners to see through peoples clothes. Screeners could easily spot a concealed weapon or explosives taped to their body. Plastic explosives are very hard to detect and only a little is needed to cause major damage to a plane.
The American Civil Liberties Union say the machines are "highly invasive of personal privacy" and "not narrowly tailored" to people likely to pose a threat. "The ACLU is concerned that these searches - akin to Superman's X-ray vision- have been conducted without good cause and are based on profiles that are racially discriminatory. In addition, these machines are capable of projecting a high-resolution image of a passenger's naked body," ACLU Legislative Counsel Timothy D. Sparapani said.
Proponents of the machine say that by blurring the clear images of a passengers intimate body parts "compromises the effecctiveness of the search".
I don't know if I really want some airport screener looking at my x-rayed body but I guess this is the price that you have to pay.