By John M. Simpson
If you fly you’ve probably encountered the Transportation Security Administration’s highly intrusive and probably ineffective backscatter body scanners. Some security experts describe the technology that produces detailed, three-dimensional images of you as the equivalent of “a physically invasive strip-search.”
Privacy considerations aside, there is the strong possibility that the backscatter x-ray machines may subject us to unnecessary radiation. That might be particularly threatening to frequent air travelers, flight crews, and individuals with greater sensitivity to radiation, such as children, pregnant women, the elderly, and cancer patients.
The TSA doesn’t advertise the fact prominently, but you can opt of the invasive electronic strip-search. That’s what I always do. If everybody did, the TSA would stop deploying the gadgets and go back to simply using metal detectors all the time.
I’m writing this post at 36,000 feet, flying back to Los Angeles from Washington, DC where I was representing Consumer Watchdog at the Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialog. (More about TACD in another post).
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