In a couple months airport body scan images will no longer look like unattractive softcore Sci-Fi porn.
When body scanners were introduced by the TSA to amp up security at airport checkpoints everyone who has ever seen a plane, let alone flown on one, cried foul. The new technology became quickly controversial because the x-ray images that it produced left little to the imagination of TSA agents. It was considered an invasion of privacy and arguably a violation of our civil rights. Refusal of the body scan simply resulted in a even more intrusive game of grab ass with a TSA agent, which was sometimes confused with a colonoscopy.
Over the course of the past year protests of body scanners and in-depth pat downs have made national headlines weekly. The stories are a mix of power-tripping agents without common sense or self control, as well as passengers who use the pat down as a political soapbox.
Since 9/11 most Americans have been in full support of increased security to protect our lives and our country, at least until it becomes an inconvenience. People complained when the security lines got longer. People complained when they had to take off their shoes, remove their laptops and put their liquids in a plastic bag. Airports quickly became an even greater hotspot for tempers flaring. And the term – randomly selected – became one of the most controversial of the past decade.
But according to the Washington Post it appears the TSA will be implementing new technology and the infamous body scanners will now blur the images of passengers’ private regions.
The so-called Automated Target Recognition software eliminates the image of an actual passenger on the screen, replacing it with a generic outline. Passengers will be able to see the same image viewed by security officers. The software is designed to recognize items in the image that could pose a security threat.
The technology is months away from being implemented at the 40 airports that use the body scanning technology. However this should alter the public opinion on the scanners without conceding any measure of security. It appears to be the perfect compromise, but there will always be civil rights protesters who use the checkpoints as pulpits. These same people will be angry when their flight inexplicably leaves without them.
As someone who has spent roughly a quarter of my life in airports I’ve never had a problem with security checkpoints. I even went through a body scanner last week — without crying about my civil liberties. Any measure they take to make flying safer is fine by me. If someone needs to see a x-ray picture of my testicles to check for explosives then so be it, as long as I get to my destination safely. For the life of me I can’t understand why anyone would feel differently.
But feel free to tell me why I’m utterly wrong.