Thursday, July 10, 2014

What the TSA Really Sees

How would you like to visit a family member in London? A friend in Dubai? A business associate in Tokyo? A century ago, this would have nearly been impossible. It would have taken an arduous journey across the sea in some vessel to do so. Luckily, this is not nearly as inconvenient of a process today. The development of the commercial airline industry has transformed the world from a place where people were basically stranded in the region they lived into what is now a global community. The ability to hop on a plane for a few hours and step off in a foreign land has allowed people to connect in ways they never could before. This has been very beneficial to modern society; however, recent issues caused by a few have led to a loss of a basic human right to many. In recent times, there has been a human rights issue with the Travel Safety Administration’s use of X-ray machines in airport security.
Every single person who decides to fly in an airplane is required to go through a security check. Even though these checks can be a hassle, we are unfortunately forced to use them to deal with people who aim to harm others. This allows passengers to feel safe while flying thousands of feet above the Earth. It all begins by putting your items onto a conveyor-belt that will lead to a machine that scans your belongings to search for hazardous objects. The next step is where the issue has developed. In the past, the TSA used what was essentially a metal detector to search people, but a recent “technological improvement” has now brought X-rays to airports all over the country. One may ask, “So what’s the issue with that?” The issue is that this violates every person’s right to privacy.
People are naturally subconscious beings. We idolize those who have perfect figures and scrutinize ourselves for whatever flaws we may have. When a person walks through one of the TSA’s new X-ray devices, their image is displayed on a screen for some person they have never met to view. This image is more detailed than you may think. It is designed to see through clothes and examine whether or not a person has something dangerous attached to them. In theory, this is a great idea, but unfortunately reality puts a damper on it. The security agent viewing you as you get X-rayed is given a graphic that shows all of your body. Yes, ALL of your body. This includes external genitalia and medical devices. I personally believe this is absolutely ridiculous. The TSA has no right to view a person’s body for any reason. The worst part is that those waiting to be X-rayed have no clue that they are about to be seen in the way that they are. No security agent informs them of the reality of what is about to happen. I guarantee that if a person could see the image the TSA was about to see, they would never allow it to happen. People deserve the right to privacy, and the TSA is taking this right away. I do not want to allow them to see my body. Do you?


"Know Your Rights When Traveling." American Civil Liberties Union. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 July 2014.

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