Taking off your clothes and getting fondled is usually fun… except when it happens at the airport. Going through security before flights has gotten increasingly humiliating over the years. Watching people prepare themselves for inspection by stripping off their shoes, belts, jackets, and sweaters is like the least sexy and most frustrating strip tease ever.
The TSA’s new whole-body imaging machines make the stripping much more efficient. There are two types of scanners — using either millimeter wave or backscatter technology — which show a person without their clothes on, to reveal a glock, bomb-making materials, or smaller, less intimidating equipment. There are now over 300 of the machines in over 60 airports.
The scanners have been controversial for both privacy and health reasons. Some people aren’t comfortable with a random TSA worker seeing them sans clothing, despite promised privacy protections, such as faces being blurred and the TSA officer who views the image not seeing you in person. And some frequent flyers fear the radiation risks that come with being X-rayed on a regular basis.
A privacy civil rights group, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, is hoping to stay the scans with a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security…