Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Body Scans and Going Deeper

OK, I have already blogged about going through the Full Body Scanner in Indianapolis Airport during the holidays. Personally, I don't have a problem with it. It is preferable to a frisking, that is unless the guard is really good looking, and I don't have a problem with an official being able to see under my clothes. Invasion of privacy? Maybe, but if not carrying a bomb is a prerequisite to flying, then there have to be ways to check. The Nigerian guy understood you are not supposed to carry a bomb on a plane and yet he did.

My biggest problem with the scanners is the immediate jump to an untested technology in favor of something that works time and again. I am talking about dogs. Man's best friend has a really good track record at detecting explosives, drugs and just about anything that smells. Our friends at GE who made the ill fated puffer gadgets that were supposed to detect explosives can't make that claim. Those big bucks machines are now basically huge paperweights, paid for by the general public's hard earned dollars.

Now the body scanner enters the picture and yet another big company gets richer.

Doesn't Alpo have a lobbyist? A bomb sniffing dog would be faster and less intrusive than one of these peeping scan things, but since no one gets rich from dogs they remain on the sidelines.

This article in Mother Jones says pretty much the same thing, so I am not the only one with this nagging question. Mentioned in the piece is a British device that does a virtual body cavity search. If it's expensive, you can bet it is in our future as we remove every last bit of fun from flying.

No comments: