Tuesday, January 11, 2011
The Virtual Strip Search
In July 2010, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security over these scanners. EPIC asked for an emergency stay and the appeals court denied the request. EPIC argues that the scanners violate the Fourth Amendment, the Privacy Act, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Video Voyeurism Prevention Act (for a discussion about the Video Voyeurism Prevention Act click here).
TSA implemented privacy protection procedures when the full body scanners began arriving in airports this past March 2010. Some of the privacy protection measures include: the individuals face is blurred, the TSA worker who views the image is located in another room where they cannot see the actual person, and the individual can opt out of the full body scan for a full body pat down instead.
The health concern is related to over exposure to radiation and the possibility that the over exposure could cause cancer. Recently, the Allied Pilots Association recommended to their members to submit to the full body search rather than go through the scanner because of health concerns for frequent air travelers.
The question then is: should we hamper our technological abilities to counter terrorism in our airports when the terrorists are not hindering their efforts to create undetectable bombs? You can scan me if that means I am more likely to arrive safely at my final destination.
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