To Scan or Not to Scan?

by Melissa Brunner

The TSA and those full-body scanners are in the new a lot this week. Some people object to the scanners because of radiation. No problem, the TSA says, we'll just enchance our pat-downs. That has people crying foul, saying some of the pat-downs cross the line.

The web is filled with stories of these searches done in the name of security. I ran across one last night about a man who had his urostomy bag dislodged by an aggressive pat-down. There's also a YouTube video of a young boy being strip searched.

Side note on the scanners themselves - I went through one for the first time last month at the Amsterdam airport. You stood with your hands in the air for three seconds, then step out and they pat down the "hot spots" highlighted on the scanner. We watched a few other people go through after me and it was pretty interesting - the scan would come up and you'd see two or three yellow patches on most and those would be the points you'd see the security agent check. How it decided those were the points of interest, I have no idea!

What do you think of all the controversy? Have the searches really gone too far in the name of safety, or are these cases of a few bad apples spoiling the whole bunch? And where do we draw the lines between the need to keep people safe and the need to maintain our personal boundaries?


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