November 9, 2004
I know a lot of people are freaked out by terrorism and what may happen in the air. I'm not one of them. I've grumbled many times about the restrictions placed upon travelers, as it directly affects me constantly and I think a good portion of it is worthless. So when I first saw this CNN article, I was surprised and a bit worried. When I saw this poll, I was actually shocked and upset at how easily so many would be willing to allow so much. I would be very much opposed to letting people see under my clothes whether their male or female. I think it certainly does not merit the invasion of privacy.
Posted by charr at 10:09 PM
Frankly, I'm more worried about getting hit by X-rays than having someone see an image of me like the one with the article. And I'm not terribly worried about the X-rays, either. You're shocked that someone would allow "so much", but for some people, it's barely worth a shrug. I'd gladly use it if it meant quicker processing.Since a number of people, and probably a decent-sized number, actually worry about this, I wouldn't support it without some sort of alternate security procedure for people who feel uncomfortable with it. I also imagine it's a fairly expensive machine, and I'd have to be convinced that it was actually worth it. But I don't think anyone will be asking me.
Again it comes down to priorities :). I'm somewhat of a privacy advocate, and think this is going to far. But as you said, who's gonna ask me?
Well, there's privacy, and then there's privacy. I'm opposed to the government snooping in my personal life or my property. It's kind of scary that people get visits from the FBI/Secret Service over blog or message board posts. I dislike how everyone asks for my SSN for things unrelated to its intended use. Those are the sort of privacy issues I'm interested in.X-ray security cameras are kind of cool, and they set them up to be pretty darn anonymous. The operator can't see the real person, and you can't see much in the way of fleshy detail in the images, so there's no real connection between the operator and you. There's very little substantial privacy issue there, in my opinion.I am slightly worried about X-ray exposure in frequent fliers, though.
I agree with your first paragraph. The Patriot Act scares me at how much power it grants the feds. As for X-ray cameras, I don't have a lot of experience, but the article I linked to said that it was "anatomically detailed." I just think that's going too far.
Well, the pictures look more like anatomically detailed silhouettes than actual naked people to me, but I guess that could still bother people.
I realize those pictures didn't look too bad, but I wonder if they've been touched up for modesty's sake to put on CNN. I've seen full body x-rays of people before that show quite a bit.
I certainly wouldn't want any security operator looking through my clothing, for goodness sake! I've met too many of them to think they're going to be completely objective about it. Besides, what about the religious implications of something like that? Muslim women certainly wouldn't want to be exposed that way, that's what all their robes and scarves are for. The Amish women who fly certainly wouldn't want to expose themselves either. And as a Mormon, I definitely don't want some random security officer staring at my "naughty bits" thank you very much. This isn't the only security option, so why bother with it when it could alienate too many people?
One final note - I don't believe the study carried out at Heathrow was very objective. They didn't force random people to go through the x-ray, they asked people at random to go through it. How many people said no, shot them a dirty look, and walked off? Of the people who agreed to participate, if they'd already agreed to posing naked for a security officer, why wouldn't they provide positive feedback? They're obviously bold enough not to care, so it makes no nevermind to them. It's a clear case of biased subject selection, intended or not.
This is an invasion of privacy and if they want to do it, fine. No one has a right to fly. But if they require it, I want to know about it before I buy a ticket going through that airport. IMO, there's bigger security fish to fry than focusing so much on air travel. Where could more damage be done, a plane or one of the local malls? There is NO screening to get into a mall. Explosives, guns, biological weapons... they could all get in. So what are ya gonna do?I'm not saying there should be screening at the mall, I'm saying there's a ridiculous amount at the airport. What happened on 9/11. That's a one trick pony. It's not going to happen again, at least as far as hitting a building, because no one is going to sit by and let people take the plane over without one hell of a fight.