Airport Security: How the Use of Full-Body Scanners and Other Security Measures at Airports Are Problematic
Introduction Security is the freedom from danger and risk, which provides one with complete satisfaction and safety. Full-body scanners have been in use for various health reasons, but have recently started to be utilized at airports for security measures in 2007. Full-body scanners used for safety purposes are a recently invented technology device that claims to ensure entire safety to travelers at airports by generating a computerized stripped image of passengers boarding flights. Additional security procedures along with full-body scanners are also taken place.
This assures that no passengers are carrying any harmful material to prevent the act of terrorism. Although full-body scanners allow airport security to avoid physical frisking, which may arise as a problem to many travelers, personally and religiously, there are many disadvantages as well. According to surveys, even though it is for the sake of security, passengers feel uncomfortable about the fact that they are technologically being viewed bare naked.
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Also, the personal who specifically view your full body scan can amplify security which creates a reasonable issue of racism and prejudice.
Additionally, it has been proven that this “new and improved” full-body scanner and other security measures in action have not been functioning to satisfy complete safety and security to travelers. Private and religious invasion, discrimination, and inefficiency are three major concerns that regard the use of full-body scanners and other security measures, which are becoming increasingly problematic at airports internationally. It is coherent that these apprehensions must be taken into serious consideration regarding the decision whether or not the use of full-body scanners and other security enforcements should be continued.
Private and Religious Invasion It is evident, through religious laws and several personal opinions, that the use of full-body scanners may invade an individual’s religious and personal privacy. Generally speaking, one would undoubtedly feel personally invaded if another has the access to observe their uncovered body unwillingly. This is why a certain population feels strongly against the fact that they are forced to be viewed undressed, through the use of a full-body scanner. Rabbi Bulka states that “…a full body check – you have to be able to have access o every single part of the body, including those we would consider off limits” (MacLeod, 2010). This displays that the private body parts of individuals who pass through full-body scanners are being “viewed by a screener in a separate room, who doesn’t know the identity of the person”(Gulli, 2010). It is apparent that the passenger being observed by the anonymous viewer will undoubtedly feel that their privacy is being strongly invaded through the use of full-body scanners. Among the lines of privacy invasion, there are other methods to attack a passenger’s boundary to make them feel uncomfortable.
On that note, the use of full-body scanners has also broken the religious laws of the population amongst certain beliefs. The author mentions that, “Passengers who do not wish to pass through the metal detector for religious or cultural reasons can request a pat-down as an alternative. Head coverings, whether religious or not, are also permitted, though they may be subject to a pat-down search or removal in a private area” (Higgins, 2010). This demonstrates that full-body scanners may be a threat to an individual’s religious beliefs by forcing them to remove any religious attire such as a hijab for Muslim women or a turban for Sikh men/women.
Additionally, this population would be very sensitive to physical pat-downs in private areas as they have already avoided the use of full-body scanners due to religious terms. Not only does this raid religious belief, but may also invade an individual’s personal space as well. With this information, it is prominent that religious and personal privacy may be invaded with the utilization of full-body scanners. Discrimination Along with religious and personal invasion, the utilization of full-body scanners and other security measures have proven to raise problems of discrimination and prejudice.
This causes travelers to wonder whether they are being scrutinized at airports for the safety of others, or for the indignity of their identity and background. It is clear that the background and race of an individual largely alters the way airport security personal treat passengers in relation to full-body scanners. The author, Micheline Maynard, expresses that “Citizens of 14 nations, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, who are flying to the United States will be subjected indefinitely to intense screening at airports worldwide…”(Lipton, 2010).
However, she also states that “…American citizens, and most others who are not flying through those 14 nations on their way to the United States, will no longer automatically face the full-range of intensified security…” (Lipton, 2010). This shows that the targeted countries such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria along with others are clearly being classified under terrorism-related countries. A massive issue is created for the majority of the population from those countries, who are innocent, yet are forced to undergo intense full-body screening for no political reason.
Therefore, airport security is proven to produce discrimination in association with full-body scanners against those targeted nations. Furthermore, prejudice along with discrimination is evidently exists in the process of airport security measures other than full-body scanners. As Rafi Sela, the president of AR Challenges, a global transportation security consultancy, speaks about the body and hand-luggage check, he states that “…they’re not looking for liquids, they’re not looking at your shoes.
They’re not looking for everything they look for in North America. They just look at you” (Kelly, 2009). This quotation is an ideal example of prejudice present at airport security. As prejudice refers to an unfavorable opinion, Rafi Sela explains that the traveler at the body and hand-luggage check will be judged based on his/her appearance as opposed to making sure that the passenger is not carrying any harmful substances for the flight.
Finally, it is apparent that discrimination and prejudices have been established as a method of the security system at airports, which is wrongful in a countless number of ways. Inefficiency Another problem that arises from the use of full-body scanners is that they do not provide complete efficiency to bring forth entire safety. Also, trained dogs are a more enhanced component of the security system that tends to function superior to full-body scanners. Moreover, full-body scanners may not perform as effectively to deter deadly weapons that a terrorist may have possession of.
Cathy Gulli says, “…body scanners probably won’t pick up explosives concealed in body cavities or consumed, which still leaves bombers with the ability to get explosives onto the plane” (Gulli, 2010). This clearly displays that using these full-body scanners can o be claim to be highly effective, are proven wrong. As using these machines is putting a risk and danger to lives of travelers internationally, there is a major flaw in the system and may become very problematic. As Rafi Sela says, “…if you have a gap in security, you have no security” (Gulli, 2010).
On the other hand, having a canine is a more effective security method as it provides a supplementary and a serviceable protection to travelers worldwide. “Cliff Samson, president of the Canadian Police Canine Association, believes dogs are ‘every bit as effective’ as machines at detecting explosives, and they can seek them out in a way that huge, stationary equipment can’t” (Gulli, 2010). This evidence supports the fact that using trained canines for security purposes as opposed to ineffective and risky full-body scanners, there is also a financial advantage as well.
Mr. Samson also mentions that “…a dog can cost a police department $12,000…” whereas a security expert states that “…body scanners, each worth $250 000, at Canadian airports… ” (Gulli, 2010). Not only does this give airports an opportunity to increase security for a positive cause, but also allows airports to capitalize financially. Conclusively, inadequacy in the functioning of full-body scanners has proved to be problematic security factor without bringing complete security that even dogs can outsmart. Conclusion
Various apprehensions that are becoming increasingly problematic as time passes regarding the doubtful airport security systems include invasion of privacy and religious laws, discrimination and prejudices, as well as ineffectiveness of full-body scanners. It is extremely important for the public citizens across the world to act towards bringing a much safer security system that is capable of accommodating the various respected religions internationally without the process of determining whose security should or should not be intensified based on their ethnic background and race.
It is also important for everyone to acknowledge that it is just as important to defend ones rights and beliefs as it is to protect an airline flight without physically or religiously violating an individual’s space. This is why it is an excellent idea to create a universal security system that is convenient in use, unbiased and respected of physical and religious liberty. It is the responsibility of every person to contribute towards the creation of a precious and needed system that potentially holds the lives of many as it will largely donate towards the prevention of terrorism.
With the rapid developing technology witnessed in the past decade, there is absolutely no excuse to live without a safety scheme most needed around the world. Not only should this worldwide security system be used for the isolated purpose of airport safety, but should also be utilized at public locations such as theme parks, subway and bus terminals and sea ports as well. This way every country, city, and community across the world will be satisfied and secure of any danger and risk.
Since our current security structure clearly cannot handle the situations faced today, a more effective method of security will serve its purpose to protect every valuable individual globally. References Gulli, C. (2010). The scary truth about airport security. Maclean’s (2), 18. Retrieved February 02, 2010, from ProQuest database. Higgins, M. (2010). Security ahead? pack patience:[travel desk]. New York Times, p. TR. 3. Retrieved March 14, 2010, from ProQuest database. Kelly, C. 2009, December 30). The ‘Israelification’ of airports: high security, little bother. The Star. Retrieved March 15, 2010, from http://www. thestar. com/ Lipton, E. (2010). Strict airport screening to remain for citizens of 14 nations; [foreign desk]. New York Times, p. A. 3. Retrieved February 16, 2010, from ProQuest database. MacLeod, J. (2010). Full-body scans ok to save lives, rabbis say. Canadian Jewish News, p. 3,15. Retrieved March 14, 2010, from ProQuest database.