This is the class blog for Eng 1102 at GA Tech called "Fiction, Human Rights, and Social Responsibility." The purpose of this blog is to extend our discussion beyond the classroom and to become aware of human rights issues that exist in the world today and how technology has played a role in either solving or aggravating them. Blogs will be a paragraph long (250 words) and students will contribute once every three weeks according to class number. Entries must be posted by Friday midnight.
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?
Rights When Traveling." American Civil Liberties Union. N.p., n.d.
Web. 10 July 2014.