Take a look at the image on the right. That, my friends, is what an airport full-body image scanner shows. You can clearly see every . . . single . . . inch of the person in the scanner.
- His chest.
- His navel.
- His butt-crack.
- His penis.
- His testicles.
You can see it all.
This is what awaits you at the airport. I find it offensive and despicable. Airport full-body scans are just strip searches and I, as an American citizen, am supposed to be protected from unreasonable search.
The mere fact that I want to fly from point A to point B does not grant any agency, public or private, to strip search me without cause. Flying is not cause.
These machines are massive and intrusive invasions of privacy.
Authorities are quick to point out the necessity of these machines in a post-9/11 world. We should be happy to give up liberties for safety, they tell us. It’s not all that bad; they have measures in place to protect you and your identity in the scans.
They are lying to you, people.
- They will tell you that the “viewer” of the scanner is alone in a private room.
- They will tell you that the viewer is not allowed to have any recording devices in the room.
- They will tell you that the viewer is guaranteed to be the same sex as you.
They tell you these things as if they should make a difference. Aside from the fact that you really don’t KNOW if these statements are true or not and if they apply to every airport and every TSA agent, there is still less legal protection, MUCH less, of your personal and private information than you get from your health care professional.
HIPAA privacy law demands many protocols and controls over your personal health information. Everything from who can see the data, to how long the data can be stored, to how it’s encrypted and protected in transit. These are well-documented rules, regulations, and laws and violations are severely dealt with.
You have no such guarantee with the TSA and the full-body scanners. The potential for misuse is huge. In fact, it has already happened. Yes – lewd comments and unauthorized personal copies of images from a full-body scanner was taken by a worker at Heathrow airport. Think about that, people – these machines have been out for less than three months and already we have a documented violation.
Statistically, that means that there is a high degree of probability that this is just the tip of the iceberg. This is already happening and you don’t know about it. Even if strict, well-documented, and enforceable legal processes are enacted I will not submit to the full-body scan at an airport.
There is no reason, none whatsoever, to strip search me without cause. Period. It’s as simple as that. It’s not about modesty. It’s not about embarrassment. It’s about my constitutional right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.
My Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search is under attack with these machines. What’s coming next is the government position that by choosing to fly I am implicitly consenting to the search.
You, all of you, should boycott these machines. You should make your voices heard. You have already given up so many of your rights for the illusion of safety. These machines amount to a strip search and while they are voluntary now, they will be mandatory later. The time to stop this madness is now.
As Benjamin Franklin said, “They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.”