Say goodbye to personal privacy

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By Sofia Donascimento

(Leonardo Pineda)

By Sofia Donascimento

These days, you have to get naked to save your life.

Since the Sep. 11 terrorist attacks, airport security is looking for more efficient ways to search for weapons on passengers. Before, taking off shoes and belts would suffice, but now some passengers will have to go through an X-ray that shows them completely naked.

I believe airports are right about making security more difficult to penetrate. Any thing that will make airports more secure should be welcomed by everyone. We should concentrate on the benefit X-ray scanners will bring, more than being seen naked by an officer.

Although it may be uncomfortable to be observed by an officer, it is better than making it easier for terrorists to board airplanes with explosives.

Although the scanner is already used in some jails, to have it in airports is somewhat controversial.

Some passengers complained about the exposure to radiation, but the public should not worry because the scanner does not have enough radiation to be dangerous. The public also alleged that the virtual strip would invade passengers’ privacy.

Our priority needs to be on our safety rather than in a little embarrassment. We must support our government in making life safer, even if it means getting naked for our country.

In reality the scanner will only be used when necessary. It’s not like the passengers are really taking off their clothes. It’s absurd to believe that the check lines will turn into some kind of pornographic sight.

Furthermore, the X-ray scanner test, referred to as backscatter, is efficient in ensuring the safety of our airports.

The backscatter will only be used as a secondary screening on the people that fail the standard test. Passengers will have the option of choosing either the backscatter or the pat down search.

I think the backscatter is much better than the pat down search. If people are complaining about invasion of privacy, then they should be happy that we now have a machine rather then a person doing the search.

The backscatter will show the passenger naked, but it will blur out the more sensitive parts of the body. Not only will some parts of the body be blurred out, but only officials in secluded offices will see the screen. Neither the other passengers nor the agent at the checkpoint will be able to see the image.

Contrary from pat down searches, the backscatter will be much more impersonal. The backscatter officer will see the body of a person he or she is not in contact with.

The pat down search can be very uncomfortable. I’d much rather be seen from a screen than have an officer rubbing his or her hands from my breast down to my ankles in a corner of an airport.

Some passengers are worried about having the image of his or her body on a screen. The backscatter will delete images as soon as the passenger leaves the machine. The pictures posted on the internet in articles that talk about the backscatter are of people that have agreed to release their pictures. Passengers should not worry because images will not be saved.

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