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Airport body scanners: Necessary precaution or invasion of privacy?

Soon, when you travel by plane, you may be asked at the airport to step in front of a screening device called a full-body scanner. It looks like a metal cabinet with a screen, and it looks through your clothes for hidden weapons or explosives and shows a clear, somewhat graphic image of your body.

The Obama administration decided to increase the number of full-body scanners in airports around the country after a Nigerian man allegedly tried to blow up an airplane using explosives concealed in his underwear on Christmas Day.

Advocates of the devices say they are critical to stopping terrorists who seem to be developing more ingenious ways to slip weapons past security.  Others oppose these scans as overly intrusive, comparing them to virtual strip searches.

Forty full-body scanners are already in use at 19 U.S. airports, and nearly 1,000 more are proposed to be installed by late 2011 to cover half of the nation’s airport checkpoints. While it is expected that full-body scanners will become the routine method of screening, passengers can choose between a scan, which takes about 15 seconds, or a full-body pat-down.

The Transportation Security Administration says strict privacy measures are used:
  • Screeners view the images on a monitor in a separate room from the passenger, whom they never see in person.
  • Cameras, cell phones and other picture-taking devices are banned in the monitor room.
  • The images, in which facial features are blurred, are deleted immediately after the scan is reviewed.
  • Functions that allow storage or transmission of images are disabled before installation of the scanners at airports.

Watchdog groups, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, believe that full-body scanners threaten personal privacy by producing images of virtually naked bodies and revealing embarrassing medical details such as adult diapers and colostomy bags.

Critics also question why the machines are built with the capability to store and transmit images if these functions are then disabled. The TSA says these functions are for testing and training purposes only. But the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a public interest group concerned with civil rights, believes the potential for abuse exists.

Security experts also point out that the current devices cannot detect a weapon hidden in a body cavity. They say the machines may also miss certain types of low-density powder explosives. Critics suggest that terrorists will always find a way to outsmart machines, and that money would be better spent on screening the backgrounds of potential terrorists instead of people’s bodies.

What is your right to privacy as you go through airport security? The Constitution does not even mention a right to privacy, but the Supreme Court has established in many cases that privacy is a fundamental right. In airport security cases, federal appeals courts have allowed the use of metal detectors and searches of passengers at any point after check-in.

Arguing against full-body scanners, civil liberties groups cite the Fourth Amendment, which protects the privacy of your body and your possessions. Specifically, it protects against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” But the courts say that the Fourth Amendment protection applies only if a person is in a situation where he or she has a “legitimate expectation of privacy.” That means the person expected to have some degree of privacy in what he or she was doing, and society would accept that expectation of privacy as reasonable. For instance, a person using a public restroom would expect to have privacy, and most people would agree that was reasonable. The question the courts may have to address about full-body scanners is whether a passenger at an airport has a legitimate expectation of privacy to be able to invoke Fourth Amendment protection.

So far, most of the flying public seems ready to accept full-body scanners as a necessary airport security precaution. A USA TODAY/Gallup poll of travelers taken two weeks after the “underwear bomber” incident showed 78 percent approved of the use of full-body scanners, and 84 percent believed the devices would stop terrorists from bringing explosives aboard planes.

What do you think?

Should full-body scans be routine at airport security screening? Do you think they will stop terrorists from bringing explosives aboard planes? Are they an invasion of privacy? Is a full-body scan more invasive than a full-body pat-down? Join the discussion, and tell us what you think!
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Comments
12/8/2014
California
Roxy
Mrs. Earle/LHS
You know how people's rights get taken away? Not all at once because they revolt, they fight back. You take them away one at a time. Little by little so that they don't notice. When they realize they are oppressed, there is little for them to fight back with. History, ladies and gentlemen. Safety is a priority, but so is our freedom. It's natural to disagree, I welcome different perspectives, but it's stupid to consent to rules without questioning them. Thank you to those that question and seek reasonable solutions. We need more of you in America.

9/11/2014
San mateo. ca
Adam
Half moon bay high
Would you rather get your privacy invaded or get blown up in the sky? you chose.

4/25/2014
MI
Tahylor Modreske
Thornapple Kellogg
Airport checks are not to invasive because when you have something your no suppose to your not just putting your life in danger but others peoples to so they need checks so your not putting anybody in danger.

3/17/2014
Lewiston, Minnesota
Cadi Peaslee
Lewiston Altura High School
This is an invasion of privacy as well as a safety standard, to prevent another 9/11 issue but any other comments would be helpful

11/22/2013
nc
olivia
jay m robinson
i am doing a research paper and i am finding many ways that people are getting past security. i am not sure yet on my side, but with my current research, it looks like the security is not helping.

11/16/2013
Maryland
Sophia
DMS
I am doing a project on 9/11, and I have learned that these sort of things may invade privacy, but they also help billions of people. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, a lot of different precautions were taken, but they are all to prevent any attacks like 9/11 from happening again.

9/18/2013
kansas
joe
smo
this is very bad and it invades our privacy

5/16/2013
Chicago
Matt
AVM
This system is not the most efficient ever but it keeps billions of Americans safe each day.

5/12/2013
New Jersey
Nico
Porevine High School
I'd just like to point out that not a single terrorist has been caught by any form of body scanner, and that these machines are easily tricked. Tests have shown that you can get a handgun through these by putting it in the right place. These are a waste of money.

4/4/2013
MN
Desiree
NPMS
It can feel really awkward, but think of how safe it could keep you and your family while flying...OR EVEN BEFORE!!!!! That's all. Period.

12/7/2012
memphis
Shicara K.
Douglass
Full body scanners are bad

10/3/2012
rosewood
teena
rosewood high school
airport body scanners are invasion of privacy.this had led down many people' dignity.it is a complete violation of privacy and human rights too.if terrorist has to blast a bomb he won't wait to walk through those body scanners. no doubt security is an issue but solving this by making someone nude is not the better or even good solution.

3/27/2012
sparta
sydney
hernandez
not right

3/16/2012
Macomb
Blake
Dakota
If anyone is gonna reject a piece of technology that takes 15 seconds they are retarted. C'mon now, 15 seconds? who cares!!!!! its 15 seconds!!! Liquid bombs could pass through a metal detector any day. Ig you think scaners invade privacy rights than good luck getting a physical at the doctors

5/16/2010

Fatima
Fordson High School, Dearborn, Mi
what you guys are forgetting is the fact that these systems have failed several times. Also, do you guys know how they work?

5/3/2010

Casey
Nimitz High School, Irving,Texas
If the full body scans can save lives and prevent terrorism then I believe they are necessary as long they are proven to do more than any other less embarrassing technology. I believe they are an invasion of privacy but since they are only at airports which are targets to terrorist than maybe the pros out way the cons.

4/29/2010

Justine
LMS, Diamond Bar, CA
I believe that airport body scanners are very necassary due to protect people while they fly. I disagree with Linda from Tenafly HS, Tenafly, NJ, because she states that airport body scanners invade your privacy. I dont think its an invasion of privacy; one reason is because it is in a public place and number two reason is because it is done for public saftey. You also can ride the bus, the train or your car if you dislike the airport body scanners.

4/29/2010

AleynaP3
LMS, Diamond Bar, CA
I agree with Eduardo. Full body scans are a good idea. Since there is still terrorist attacks and other things happening after all the precautions taken at airports. Yes, it is kind've an invasion of your privacy but I would rather have that than any bad situation have happen. I think if full body scans start in the airports it will be safer for everybody. I know I would feel a lot better if I was going on a plane ride knowing all these precautions have been taken. And I am almost sure if this starts it will either end of lessen the chances of bombs, and terrorist attacks in our country.

4/28/2010

EduardoP5
LMS, Pomona, CA
I belive that the airport body scanners is a brilliant idea! It will eliminate the chances of terroist attacks. If we did not have body scanners, people and the whole world would be in danger of a horrible attack. It's somewhat invasion of privacy though it is for saftey purposes. Would you rather have ten seconds of body scanning or risk the chances of getting bombed in a plane?

4/28/2010

jessep3
LMS, DIAMOND BAR CA,
Im gonna have to agree with joji because if the airport didnt provide those body scanners. Mllions and millions of people would have died by now. We have all known about the manyy dangers terrorist's can be but yet we dont take much action. In a way, the body scanning procees is a bit of an invasion but it is also for our own safety. We have to stop being so ignorant and start to realize that there are actually people who are willing to take the time and risking their lives just to assure us safety when they don't really have too. yes, its part of their job but it is also a favor that we must acceptt a hundred percent. I understand that people feel that they have invaded thjeir privacy but its either our privacy or our lives. I know I wouldnt want to be in a plane with a terrorrist aboard.wouldyou? I think not. Youwant that assured safety right? Well it's time to start acting like it. The reason I say ACt is because its not about whether YOU want it, it's about whether you'll live to see another day. I hope this helps people understand the importance of the body scanner's and what they are actualy intended to do.

4/27/2010

SebastianP5
Lorbeer Middle School, California
I think that full body scanners are a good thing to have at airports because it will make the airports more safe. How? It will reduce the number of weapons smuggled onto airplanes and will reduce the number of high-jacked planes. Especially after what happened on september 11, thousands of people died and we don't want anything like that to happen again. So full body scanners would not violate anyone's privacy because it is just making the airlines more safe.

4/27/2010

SebastianP5
Lorbeer Middle School, California
I think that full body scanners are a good thing to have at airports because it will make the airports more safe. How? It will reduce the number of weapons smuggled onto airplanes and will reduce the number of high-jacked planes. Especially after what happened on september 11, thousands of people died and we don't want anything like that to happen again. So full body scanners would not violate anyone's privacy because it is just making the airlines more safe. I think that the comment Rupal from Tenafly High School, posted was very good point that no matter how safe something is there will always be at least 1 unhappy person saying that their rights have been violated. Even thought there is other advanced ways of safety precautions the scanner prevents alot of deaths because of the reason that people try to bring explosives on the planes and or weapons. It is impossible to have a 100% safe anything, sometimes there are planes that get high-jacked sometimes there are robberies at banks, there are so many things that can happen we just can't prevent them all. I also agree with Bryan from Nimitz High School,that the scanner cannot save the image and is just for the public's safety, if we didn't have scanners there would be a lot more bombs or weapons than usual getting onto plains and could cause many deaths. The scanners may invade people's privacy a little but it is not a saved image and it is a short 10-20 seconds and is for safety purposes only.

4/27/2010

britneyP5
LMS, dimenbar
I believe body scans are a necessary precaution. I mean, would you rather give up your privacy or risk your life? Yes it is an invasion of privacy, but the person scanning your body cannot even see your face and your pictures are discarded right after being scanned. Yes, newer technology will come out that won't invade our privacy, but until then, we went to keep out people safe. I don't think it will stop terrorists from attempting to bomb our airplanes, but i do believe it will lower the chance. Every little bit counts and i believe we should do whatever we can to protect our people.

4/20/2010

sebastianP1
LMS, Diamond Bar, CA
I believe that the full body scanners are a very good idea because it will cut the chances of a terroist attacks tremendously. Imagine if the airport did not have the full body scanner. That would be such a catastrophic Christmas known to the U.S. If the Obama Admistration didn't put the scanners in, and that accident happened, Obama would be to blame for not putting the scanners in airports.

4/16/2010

Joji
Nimitz High School, Irving/TX
The full body scanners at the airport is a good idea. It will allow the security at airports to be able to find concealed weapons, and explosives. It does seem like an invasion of privacy but it is not a “unreasonable” search and seizure because it is needed to preserve the lives of others and according to the Constitution the protection of “general welfare”.

4/13/2010

Elijah
Lorbeer, California
I believe that the full body scanners are somewhat an invasion of privacy yet it is for personal safety which justifies it. Another factor is that the full body scanners cannot save or replicate any photo of anyone that takes the scanner. Another reason I believe that this is just is that it promotes the public safety of people, and prevents another terrorist attack against the U.S. which helps fight against another horrific attack like 9/11. I think that the comment Rupal posted is agreeable because the airport body scanners are a necessary precaution in order to protect innocent civilians. I also agree that everyone should agree on this and be happy that we can have this protection. Also Kevin's comment is accurate because it is highly preferable than to have another horrific terrorist attack. All of this is based on my beliefs rather than popular belief. I believe that there are many precautions that we must take in order to achieve stability.

4/13/2010

ElijahP5
Lorbeer, California
I believe that the full body scanners are somewhat an invasion of privacy yet it is for personal safety which justifies it. Another factor is that the full body scanners cannot save or replicate any photo of anyone that takes the scanner. Another reason I believe that this is just is that it promotes the public safety of people, and prevents another terrorist attack against the U.S. which helps fight against another horrific attack like 9/11. I think that the comment Rupal posted is agreeable because the airport body scanners are a necessary precaution in order to protect innocent civilians. I also agree that everyone should agree on this and be happy that we can have this protection. Also Kevin's comment is accurate because it is highly preferable than to have another horrific terrorist attack. All of this is based on my beliefs rather than popular belief. I believe that there are many precautions that we must take in order to achieve stability.

4/9/2010

Rupal
Tenafly High School, Tenafly, NJ
I believe that airport body scanners are something that is necessary and should not be considered an invasion of privacy. In the past decade the United States has faced several attacks on its innocent citizens. I believe that providing specific policies in order to counter these attempts at attacks is something that every citizen should be in favor of. No matter how much we attempt to keep our country safe, there will always be someone unhappy. We pay a hefty amount of money in order to keep our defense on the top level, and I believe that by having these airport scanners we are doing a small portion of our citizen duty.

4/9/2010

Tyler
Tenafly High School, Tenafly, NJ
I think that the body scanners may invade privacy, but it is done so that the passengers are given a guarantee that there will be no terrorism on the flight

4/9/2010

kevin
tenafly high school , tenafly, nj
I believe that airport body scanner are a necessary precaution to everyday airtravel. Over Spring Break, i traveled from JFK, and they did use some sort of screening device to check for concealed weapons. It was in fact a bit awkward but to look at it from a larger perspective, would you rather go through 15 seconds of awkwardness or be a tragic casualty of a terrorist attack? Think about it.

4/9/2010

Linda
Tenafly High School, Tenafly, NJ
I believe that body scanners DO invade an individual's privacy. However, is such a momentary invasion of privacy worse than the possibility of death from a terrorist attack? I think a person should be willing to sacrifice their privacy since it only secures your privacy. There should be nothing to hide if you're not planning to do anything to malevolent.

3/29/2010

Bryan
Nimitz High School, Irving, TX
I think full body scans should be allowed in the airport because the scans make it safer for everyone. I also think that it is not an invasion of privacy because you cannot see the person viewing the scan and they cannot see your face or have any way of saving the picture. The civil liberties group is stupid because they cite the fourth amendment saying it protects against “unreasonable searches and seizures”, but the scan would not be unreasonable. It is their to protect your life. I personally would rather my privacy violated, even though it is not an invasion of privacy, than my life taken. The Supreme Court even says you can have privacy when you are expected to, but at an airport you're not expected to have privacy. You are expecting security to protect your safety.

3/25/2010

Chris R.
Nimitz HS, Irving, TX
While full-body scanners may be considered an invasion of privacy, they happen to be a necessary evil. The scan lasts 15 seconds, and the monitor is in another room, where the faces are blurred and images are immediately deleted after the search is finished. Yes, this random individual in the monitor room is going to see the flaws in your body, but you're never going to see them, and they'll never know who you are. Momentary discomfort in exchange for ensuring that no one else attempts to sneak explosives past in their underwear sounds like a perfectly fair trade. And while there are various flaws in the security system, no system is foolproof. The fact that it has the potential to prevent an terrorist attack is reason enough to endure the discomfort.

3/21/2010

Thomas
Nimitz HS, Irving, Tx
While the body scanners will help to slow down terrorism and inevitably save the lives of many people that doesn't change the fact that no security system is full proof. There will always be some flaw in scanners that criminals and terrorists will exploit to their benefit, then there will be a newer and more advanced scanner that promises absolute safety until it is proven flawed,and the cycle will continue, until we have given up all rights while traveling on airplanes. It is a slippery slope but it always comes back to the old saying that “he who gives up liberty for security deserves neither.”

3/12/2010

Telma
Nimitz HS, Irving TX
Full-body scans can be classified necessary evils in our society. Yes, they invade our privacy but are necessary. Criminals will always find ways to fool security in public places. The fact that they can become human transportation machines of illegal substances and weapons raises importance to the issue and if we have a way to control this situation then we might as well make it routine in all airports. Also, Full-body scans do not invade your vital and personal space-there is no need to "pat-down" or become in contact with an officer. It is a much less invasive practice. Terrorists will always try to be one step ahead no matter what the cops and laws do. These scanners may help reduce the frequency for now. Thus, we need to be aware that new "scanning machines" may need to be invented later on to catch up to the terrorists once again. In the end of the day, a person has the option riding a car or finding another transportation method.

3/11/2010

Silvana
Nimitz High School, Irving/TX
The ends justify the means. If it will prevent a terrorist from fulfilling his devious plans and protect my family and me, I am all for full-body scanners. I believe that this technological innovation is truly inspired and support wholeheartedly the scanners presence in airports across the country. To those who claim that the body scans are an invasion of privacy, I would respond that I would rather have a virtual strip search that takes about 15 seconds while fully clothed versus the alternative: full-body pat-down. It is an understood fact that personal privacy and individual modesty is irrelevant in airports, where tight security is enforced to ensure the continued welfare of citizens; therefore, I don't believe that people should be surprised by this new ingenious device. I believe that full-body scanners are a necessary airport precaution and that they will be successful in dissuading potential terrorists from bringing explosives to airports; if not capable of completely eliminating the problem, certainly adequate to putting a dent in the frequency of occurrences. It is true that there is potential for abuse and exploitation of the full-body images; however, this capacity for exploitation is a fact of life and human nature: irrelevant. There are sufficient security and privacy measures taken to satisfy me.

3/11/2010

Anna
Warren Hs, Warren pa
The idea of having a full body scan in airports is a great idea. It is a better alternative than a strip search. Aperson will not feel quite as violated since it is only a scan and a person is not being frisked for weapons. It is a way to keep our airports safe, which is much needed at this time in our economy. Having full body scans will makes people think more about what they are bringing and hopefully cut down on terroistic violence.

3/11/2010

Billy
WAHS, Warren
Airport security is very important, but it does have its limits. A full bod search is unecessary and a complete invasion of privacy. Most people that fly are not harming anyone but the potential is still there. Most explosive devices can set off by the metal detector so the point of having a full body scan is rediculous and a waste of money!

3/11/2010

JOe
Warren HS, Warren, PA
I think the precaution of having full body scanners at airport security is a great way to reduce the threat of terrorist. Having the scanners will reduce the number of people refusing searches and make it easier to detect things people shouldn’t have. The scanners should make it easier for airport security to crack down and take less time doing frisks and searches. I do not believe this an invasion of privacy because its more important to keep our country safe.

3/11/2010

Meghan
WAHS, Warren, Pa
I think that airline safety overrules the slight invasion. Body scanners would without a doubt make flying more secure. Since 9/11 this is a concern for all Americans and I believe we have the right to feel safe within our own nation. Full body scanners will make all Americans feel safer and better protected by their government.

3/10/2010

Genesis
Nimitz HS, Irving, TX
The idea of having someone see every flaw and flap on your body might make most people extremely squeamish, but personally, I believe that we have to sacrifice our discomfort for the sake of our safety. These new full-body scanners that will be used in increasing numbers in airports might be controversial, and there's a legitimate reason for both worry and acceptance. On the one hand, it seems as though the government, through TSA, is invading our privacy. For people who do have certain medical conditions that require things such as adult diapers or colostomy bags, these machines may cause some anxiety and may be perceived as invading their civil rights. However, I believe that they are placed there for the greater good, rather than to harm people or to make them feel embarrassed. The people who feel uncomfortable being scanned by the machine have other options, as well. For the sake of our safety, and for the greater good, I personally believe that these body scanners should be put into widespread practice. If they can save innocent passengers from even the slighest hazard or danger, then our personal discomfort can take the backseat.

3/10/2010

Emma
Warren , Warren, PA
I think that full-body scans are an excelent idea. This will help decline the number of terroristic attacks because there will be no hiding of anything. They could be viewd as an invasion, but isn't it more importnant to be safe than having people to know what kind of underwear you wear! If people are so opposed to it they could just drive places rather than taking airplanes. People are always wanting places to be safer and this will ensure more saftey.

3/10/2010

Casey
Warren HS, Warren/PA
The ideas of having full body scanners at airports makes me feel safer when steping on a airplane. No matter how much secerity a airport has, if terrorist will try anything to get his or her weapons on a plane and having these scanners are a step in the right direction of stopping such terrorists. For the scanners being a invasion of pravicy, yes I believe it is and as long as the scanning takes place not in front of other passengers I believe the scanners wont have a problem among a invasion of privacy. If these full body scanners make our airway traffic safer I'm all for it.

3/10/2010

Drew
Warren Area HS, Warren, PA
I think that it is a necessary precaution to have full body scanners in airports. I think that they will help prevent terrorists boarding planes. Not everyone may like the idea, but you will feel a lot safer traveling by plane. The airport security is for our safety, and our safety only.

3/10/2010

eric
warren high, warren pa
I think that this is a good idea. That way when people are entering airplanes they can spot the bombs before they can possibly cause any harm. These would have been a lot of help the christmas day attempt at bombing an airplane. If people think that this will be invading their privacy then they should leave anything they do not want the airport security to see at home.

3/10/2010

Stuart
Warren Area High School, Warren, PA
I personally believe that this is a good idea. I'm already uncomfortable with planes as it is and this would ease my mind a little more. Sure it may seem like your privacy is being invaded but there are far more pros than cons in this situation. The main pro being that it being that it would help to find any sort of weapons that a person could be carrying better than most other methods.

3/10/2010

Francisco
Nimitz High School, Irving, Tx
Of course we should always have them for the safety of the people. They will never stop terrorists from bringing explosives to the airports they will always find a new way to bring explosives. Never because I thing the only kind of “invasion of privacy” is in your home but other than that like an airport never. A full-body scan isn't invasive like I said the safety of the other people is more important.

3/9/2010

Edgar N.
Nimitz High School, Irving, Texas
Full body scanners, when perfected, should be used for airport security purposes; however, in their current state, these machines aren’t up to par yet, the main problem being the lack of detecting objects in body cavities. Any determined terrorist will not hesitate to insert explosives into their body cavities. The fact that the “[f]unctions that allow storage or transmission or transmission of images are disabled before installation… at airports,” doesn’t justify or explain the point of these capabilities in the first place. The invasion of privacy, though the most controversial issue, is not the most important one. A pat-down is more intrusive than a full body scan, the faces on the images are blurred, and the images are deleted subsequently. No, the main problem is the fact that these machines have two inherent flaws that make them susceptible to extremely determined terrorists. If the machines can be exploited by those giant holes, then they won’t help prevent terrorists from bringing explosives onto airplanes. When bettered, these machines should be implemented. Until then, these machines will just by an annoying fly to terrorists, a fly that will eventually be swatted.

3/9/2010

Colter
Warren, Warren, PA
Yes, I agree with the airport body scanners that they are a necessary precaution to our American lives. Without these anyone could just walk into an airport, armed with explosives consealed under their clothes and continue into a plane, to later high jacking it and or bombing it. The ones that ive seen, when you just have to walk through seem reasonable, but once they skiff you with their wand, then it gets outta hand. I feel the those same metal/body scanners should be located in every school entrance of every school in the nation, so teachers will be able to see any weapons coming into the schools. Some people may believe that these are an invasion of privacy but would they rather be looked at half naked or being high jacked in the plain and or getting blown up in a plane... thats what people need to relize next time they go into an airport.

3/9/2010

Rosaura V
Nimitz High School, Irving, TX
Security is a priority for many, especially to avoid terrorist attacks, such as 9/11, and other potential attacks as the recent underwear bomb. Thus, I thinks full-body scans can become an effective routine at airport security screening after a few adjustments. Although “the monitor is in a separate room from the passenger,” “cameras, cell phones and other picture-taking devices are banned in the monitor room,” and “the images, in which facial features are blurred, are deleted immediately after the scan is reviewed,” the storage and transmission capability, even for training purposes, should be disposed off completely. In the other hand, although the full-body scan can be considered an invasion of privacy, it can save many lives. Also, either way, if it becomes the routine method of screening, the passengers are going to be able to choose between a scan, or a full-body pat-down. It's not like the passenger will be forced to the scan, but I personally would choose the scan because I will never have direct contact with the security agent doing the pat-down. Furthermore, I understand the scanners "cannot detect a weapon hidden in a body cavity," nor can they detect "low-density powder explosives," but it's a device that can reduce the possibility of future terrorist attacks. It's a step forward to fighting off terrorism.

3/8/2010

Duc
Nimitz, Irving TX
Full body scanners are simply a tool that should be used to prevent terrorism. Like metal detectors, drug sniffing dogs, and x-ray machines, full body scanners are designed to detect signs of danger. If these scanners were around back a decade ago and prevented events such as Sept 11, would they be criticized now? The ethics of the use of such devices is subjective to the perceived amount of danger the traveler is in. Although terrorism is still somewhat that of a threat to American travelers, it is not as concerning as it was a few weeks after 9/11. In recent times, with the heightened security, travelers have eased their nerves, but recent events such as the underwear bomb have rekindled paranoia and suspicion. Now, travelers are at a crossroad: do they have enough security as it is, or do they need more at the expense of their privacy? Personally, I do not mind the extra precautionary measure. Full body scanners are used for the good of the people.

3/8/2010

Nabila
Nimitz, Irving,TX
I understand that full-body scanners are meant to protect the flying public, but the instruments seem to have more cons than pros. First of all, how and why is the storage and transmission capability necessary in the first place, even for training purposes, when the function is to be disabled while in use? Secondly, the scanners "cannot detect a weapon hidden in a body cavity," nor can they detect "low-density powder explosives," so how are they more effective than a regualr pat down? With these few flaws, terrorists will indeed find a way to bypass security measures and bring explosives aboard planes, as has already been witnessed even with the beefed-up security measures airports have currently. The full-body scan is an invasion of privacy and is more invasive than a full-body pat down in that an individual is exposed virtually naked to another, unknown individual. This procedure may be against certain religious obligations, causing protests from the respective individuals. The full-body scanners may become more effective with improvement, but as for now the devices have more of a potential for corruption than they do for safety.

3/8/2010

Jocelyn
Nimitz High School, Irving/TX
Full-body scans should be a routine at the airport security screenings for peoples' own safety. Making these full-body scan a routine can prevent terrorists from bringing bombs into airplanes. They may seem as an invasion of privacy but its really safety precautions. I think these machines should not have capacity to store memory. Having the capacity to store memory makes people feel like it is invading their privacy. I would rather have a full-body scan than a full-body pat-down, because someone would not have to go through the process of another person touching them.

3/7/2010

Amanda
Nimitz High School, Irving, Tx
In my opinion, the full-body scans in airports should be routine. The images of your “virtually naked” body will not even be seen by anyone that sees your face, the images that show your face are blurred and disposed of. There will be no way that the people who see your image will know who it is they are seeing. The image of the scan shows up in a completely different room and any picture-taking devices are prohibited. I do think that they will stop terrorists for the most part, but honestly they will eventually find a way around it. They always do. I do not believe that they are an invasion of privacy, I think they are there to protect everyone who gets on and off the airplanes. I would rather someone, whom I will never see, look at an image of my body than have someone in my face touching all over me. But that is just me.

3/7/2010

Matthew B.
Nimitz, Irving, TX
The last decade has been a rough and dark time in American history. From 9/11, where terrorists attacked us on our own soil, to the hundreds of bombings that have occurred overseas, the “terrorists” have been enemy number one. Our government has taken many precautions to thwart the threat, but occurrences like the Christmas day bomber prove that the danger of a terrorist attack is still very possible. Many argue that some recent government actions to find and eradicate the enemy violate our rights that or protected in the Constitution. This current issue of the instillation of full body scanners to scan airport passengers is a perfect example. From what I understand, these full body scanners display an image of your body and anything that you might be carrying on your person. Whether it is a simple pen or an explosive planted in the most private parts of your body, these scanners display it all. If this proves true, then I think that these body scanners are a good way to locate and detect any threat that may be carried on a passenger. I have no problem with them whatsoever. I understand that the image of your body can be somewhat graphic, but the nature of your physical qualities is not what the scanner is looking for. These machines are not going to be operated by sex offenders who only care about perverted things, but by trained professionals searching for any device that could harm fellow passengers. The argument of how wrong the “exposure” of peoples’ bodies are is so petty compared with the governments intentions to search for threats. These people that are upset about these scanners exposing passengers need to ask themselves, is it worth another “9/11”? These full body scanners are a so much better and more accurate alternative to full body pat downs, which can and do feel as if you are being violated and inappropriately touched. As a frequent flyer myself, I have received a full body pat down and it is not pleasant to have someone touch you in every part of your body in the name of homeland security. If these scanners can do a better job of searching passengers without the invasive nature of physical pat downs, then they are definitely an asset to our security as a nation. Regardless of the arguments, all American citizens must remember that these are being installed for our safety during a time of WAR. I think a lot of people have forgotten that thousands of our fellow Americans are overseas fighting and dying so we do not have another terrorist attack. And what are we doing? We are arguing about full body scanners and peoples’ comfort levels? I have heard foreigners talk about the selfishness of Americans, and I always thought they were mistaken until I hear stories like this. Simply put, these scanners do not violate our rights, they are not invading our privacy, and they are not an instrument of perverted pleasure.

3/7/2010

Karina
Nimitz High School, Irving, Tx
Security is very important, especially when a whole country is at risk of being attacked. Full body scans would be a great way to prevent terrorist from entering a plane, but as stated these body scanners lack the capability to detect hidden weapons in body cavities and small explosives. Also, these body scans invade the privacy of the people. The capability of the machines to save the scanned items always leaves a sense of insecurity towards our privacy. These scans can easily be saved and uploaded on the web. Yes security is something we must have, but also privacy. I do not believe that full body scans would stop a well planned out terrorist attack, there would always be ways to go around security. If we can ensure the full protection of citizens then privacy should be a right that we must let go. The majority of people surveyed agreed that body scans are the best ways to approach terrorism, but I would rather have a pat down; is less invasive and quicker.

3/6/2010

Ana A
Nimitz High School, Irving/Texas
Full-body scans do not necessarily invade people's privacy, it protects the nation from any possible terrorist attack. Although these cameras can not detect low-density powder explosives, it is a temporary way of protecting the nation from terrorists. It is very likely that a terrorist might find its way out of sneaking out a weapon and accomplish a possible attack, but for now these cameras could reduce the number of possible attempts of attacks to the nation. Absolutely, these cameras will stop terrorists from bringing explosives to the airports, not only because these cameras are capable of detecting them, but because these terrorists could get in serious trouble too, if they try to bring a weapon, not only they could harm the nation, they could also end up harming themselves too. As it is stated in the Constitution “the right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated...” [unreasonable] searches and seizures people, scanning a body is it reasonable, it could save your life, it could save the entire nation. Therefore people should not be complaining that these cameras are an instrument of invasion of privacy, people should not be afraid about having their bodies scanned because these cameras are well regulated and besides that the pictures get deleted as soon as the scan gets done. Its not like if the world is going to end because these cameras get a full virtual picture of your body, the world could end if terrorists accomplish their goals and harm our nation. A full-body pat-down is more invasive than a 15 second full-body scan, a full-body-pat-down takes longer and its more uncomfortable for people, a full-body scan besides being quick, it could be less embarrassing and uncomfortable.

3/2/2010

Stacie
Nimitz High School, Irving, Tx
Personally, I would rather be pat down than to have my naked body be screened as a security precaution. Having anyone look at my body other than myself makes me feel really uncomfortable. It's not that I don't love my body, it's just because sharing my body with someone else is something that I consider to be personal and intimate. Why should I have to let them sneak a peek? Why can't I opt to have the pat down? Even if the images are to be deleted, I would just rather avoid the humiliation of having to strip down in front of random people I don't know. Overall, the airports having the authority to make those kinds of searches are unfair and they are an invasion of privacy. Many great points are made, the screening can't tell if there are any explosives inside the body cavity, so how much of a difference does it make from the pat down besides embarrass people?

3/1/2010

Duoc
Nimitz, Irving/TX
Full-body scans are a great concern to everyone. Like many cases, there are two sides that both have a reasonable argument. It does go against our right of privacy, but it can also protect hundreds of lives in the long run from terrorist attacks. I do not think that a routine full body scan is necessary because it would cause problems from both sides of the issue. Terrorism at an airport is a big concern, and I do understand why advocates are pushing for a routine body scan, but these terrorist would find ways to get past the scanners. It would not completely stop terrorism attempts, but it would slow the rate down until they find ways to get past the scanners. I do think a full body search is an invasion of privacy to some extent. A routine scan would be an invasion of privacy, but if the passengers are asked and agree to have a scan, then it would not be an invasion of privacy because they have agreed to follow through and do the scan.

3/1/2010

Edgar I
Nimitz High School, Irving, Texas
As Americans, we have more individual rights than other countries and we are proud of it. One of these rights, not specifically stated in the Constitution, is the right to our privacy. The new full-body scanners that are being placed in the airports are just an extended measure of security for our safety. Yes, our safety. Some complain that this new form of security is a privacy invasion and that there is a “potential for abuse” with these nude images. The airports already are taking precautions with such abuse by blurring faces, immediately deleting images after review, and banning all cameras, cell phones, and any other type of photographic device from the monitor room. What bothers me the most about the people who complain about this “invasion of privacy” is the fact that they would not be complaining when the day comes that these full-body scanners save their lives by detecting a bomb on the person of a terrorist trying to blow the plane sky-high (no pun intended). The airport security is for our safety, and our safety only.

3/1/2010

Minh
Nimitz High School, Irving/Texas
Full-body scans should be routine at airport security screening. I think that they will help prevent terrorists boarding planes, but as described there is much more improvement in technology needed to perfect this scans. Powder and deep explosives can not be detected yet, and that very lack of detection could be fatal. The scans are not permanent, and can not directly discriminate and impede on a person's rights: I'd say that the strict measures at hand are sufficient to deem the scans as not a threat to privacy. Granted there might be potential for bad intent, so even stricter adherence to the regulation, or even more regulations, is always going to be needed. A full-body scan is not more invasive than the pat-down, for a pat-down is a direct, physical, in-front-of others destruction of personal space, which can easily turn into an argument on the invasion of privacy.

3/1/2010

Mauricio
Nimitz HS, Irving/TX
Whatever needs to be done in order to prevent terrorists from bringing dangerous materials on board an airplane needs to be done. But invading someone's privacy whenever they just want to visit grandma in Kentucky shouldn't be the answer. It'll be impossible for those working the scanners to match your scan with your face, but knowing that someone is scanning you from head to toe is bound to cause protests. Right now, the full body scanners are the best way to protect the country from terrorists attacks, but measures should be taken to remove the storage capability of those machines and to detect more hazardous materials in order to ease the mind of those being scanned.

3/1/2010

Ana I.
Nimitz, Irving, Texas
Safety is the most important thing when getting on a plane. If full body scans of passengers are what it takes to protect the nation from another possible attack, then passengers should just accept that fact much like they have already accepted the routine bag checks they undergo. Because the facial images are blurred and almost immediately disposed of, there is really no need to be afraid of possible “invasion of privacy”. Another precautions airports should take with these new body scans is to be very careful when choosing the individuals who work in those screening rooms. The individuals working in those rooms should be mature and professional and chosen because of their adherence to rules and regulations. Overall, I see no reason why full body scans would be a problem because they are for the greater good of the country. And besides it's not like only certain individuals are being targeted for screening. It's the whole nation.

3/1/2010

Vita
Nimitz High School, Irving, Tx
I can easily see why a full body scan can be perceived as an invasion of privacy, however, I can also see why the Obama administration see’s it as almost a necessity at this time and age. It seems that terrorist keep getting more savvy as technology advances, and their limits boundless. Airports are no longer what they used to be, it’s a sad and drastic change that Airports have gone through and unfortunately I can’t help but feel that it’s going to get a whole lot worse before, and if it get better. These body scans will in my opinion keep airports temporarily safe, however, there will always be a crack in the system and there will always be someone who will try, and achieve to slip through it. Body scans in the Airport are procrastinating the inevitable; terrorism will always exist and terrorist will always try to accomplish the task at hand, which in a way they have to an extent accomplished. America will no longer be as carefree as it used to be, while this is a good thing, I can’t help but miss the days when I welcomed my family at the airport terminal, something I doubt I’ll ever be allowed to do again.

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