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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   2 min read

The controversy could go on forever thanks to these full-body scanners being installed in airports across the US and now internationally as well. Do they cross the lines of personal privacy or are they necessary for ensuring air travel safety?

Body scanner protest

There are endless organizations and associations that boycott systems of control and power. The TSA Body Scanners haven’t missed their attention and some question whether they even work. The scanners are criticized as being invasive and producing intimate images of passengers against their will.

Passengers do have the right to opt out of passing through the full-body scanner however they will be subject to a complete and thorough pat-down when an officer becomes available. The here is when an officer is available, one passenger reportedly missed their flight after waiting an additional 30 minutes to be searched.

Some travellers are just playing along, completely undressing to pass through security, some going through in just their underwear, others in bikinis. One traveller departing on a flight from Los Angeles arrived at check-in dressed in a black string bikini under her coat saying with irony in her voice, “If they want to try and see what I’ve got hidden in my bikini, they’re welcome to.”

This short video has exploded on the internet, many of which have also challenged the new security regulations by undressing willingly instead of being subjected to a virtual strip search. A different passenger commented, “When it was time to go through security, I wondered why I even bothered getting dressed this morning.”

Who has the scanners?

More than thirty US airports currently have the scanners in place. It’s just another security measure to get used to, much in the same way as putting liquids in a small plastic bag. Here is a list of international airport that currently have the fully-body scanners in place and in function.

  • Amsterdam-Schipol Airport (AMS)
  • Gimhae/Busan International (PUS)
  • Gimpo/Seoul International (GMP)
  • Jeju International (CJU)
  • London-Heathrow (LHR)
  • Manchester Airport (MAN)
  • Moscow-Sheremetyevo International (SVO)
  • Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
  • Rome-Leonardo da Vinci/Fiumicino (FCO)
  • Toronto Pearson International (YYZ)
  • Tokyo-Narita International (NRT)
  • Vancouver International (YVR)

What do you think about the scanners? Are they justified or unlawful? Share your thoughts and opinions with the community!

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5 responses to “Full-body scanners: virtual strip search?

  1. These body scanners are completely unlawful and a blatant, outrageous abuse of power!

  2. The scanners are an outrageous violation of our rights to unlawful search and seizure and the basic right to be healthy.

    I don't believe for a second that the X-ray scanners are safe.

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