Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Naked Scanners

The UK has deployed a new type of airport security scanner in trial runs. The scanner removes the need to take off articles of clothing or submit to a pat-down search. But instead, along with detecting weapons

the full body scans will also show up breast enlargements, body piercings and a clear black-and-white outline of passengers' genitals.
The article has a picture that demonstrates what a scan looks like.

According to the report, such scanners have already undergone trials in New York and Los Angeles, and are "being gradually rolled out at airports across the US." I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, the scans are pretty intrusive. But then, so are body searches. Given those two options, I'll take the scan. 


  1. Ummm . . . well, in the choice between a full body cavity search (having one more cavity than you) and the scan, I'll take the scan, but why do they need to see my vulva?

    Also, and I don't know if this is true at the airport, but since any nudity-involving searches are required to be done by officials of the same gender, will scans only be viewed by employees of the same gender? I'm really not comfortable with random male airport employees viewing my genitals.

  2. The scan does look pretty graphic. It said it would be viewed by one security person at a remote location -- although I'm not sure if that applies in the U.S. According to the BBC article, in the UK you can refuse the scan. I guess that means you get searched instead.

    It's an even tougher call with kids. Do you have a guard see your kid naked or run his hands all over the kid's body? I'm not sure which is worse.

    For me personally I'd take the scan, just because it's more convenient, and since I really don't give a crap about what some stranger thinks of my nude body. But I can see how people might feel differently.