Oh, Nuts! The Whole Body Image Scanner Strikes Again!
Back in May, I discussed how “Whole Body Imaging” is on the rise in America. Now it seems this is spreading in the UK, too. I am wondering, why are people allowing naked pictures to be taken of themselves? Maybe folks think they have to be scanned this way and do not resist? Maybe folks are afraid to cause a scene or seem insubordinate in the general public? The more of us who speak up may just empower the rest of you to resist. After all, do you want to be the kind of person who waits for the smoke before evacuating after the fire alarms have been ringing for minutes?
What is stunning about the report in the UK is that officials are aware of the revealing nature of the scans. In the name of security, officials figure folks will trade their own privacy for the convience of the scans. Maybe they are right. But, maybe its because people really do not know how revealing the scanning is. The chalk outlined image presented by the government is nothing like any other scanner images shown by American image scans. In fact, I am yet to find any relatively congruent images presented by the governments implementing them. Everyone’s images are different and show different levels of stuff. That in effect proves that these machines can scan at all different levels and reveal details many would not want revealed to a stranger in a backroom.
The claim that the images will be deleted quickly is a total lie. If the intent was to not save any images, then the machines would be configured to not allow any saving of images – automatic or voluntary. This means that once an image is saved, it is saved. Do not trust the government to delete these photos. Instead, expect a black market of TSA images to appear on the internet in a few years.
A rare but very valid excellent point by the ACLU, asks why are government agencies going to be scanning children in this way. Will it be ok for the government to have images of naked children? That is child pornography and an invasion of a child’s privacy.
But, in the same way this is adult pornography. This is an invasion of our privacy, too. But, at least for now this is only an invasion if we voluntarily stand in the scanner. Next time you are at the airport, resist the full body scanner. Ask for a patdown, instead. If done right, both you and the TSA agent will get something good out of it. Maybe the rest of us will get to watch.