“Male Assist! Male Opt Out!”
Those are the words I hear about two minutes before I’m about to get a thorough pat down. Since 2010, when backscatter or millimeter wave scanners were introduced into the US, I’ve opted out of using them. I don’t take many strong political stands, but when it comes to airport scanners, I strongly feel that this technology is invasive and opens the door to abuse. If there is an option not to be exposed to it, I take that option.
Less invasive was sharing my data that allowed to be granted Pre-Check and avoid the scanners.
Sometimes, there are random searches that require going through the scanner in which case I find a pat down to be less invasive.
- With the pat down, I know who’s performing it.
- If they were to cross a line, I’d know immediately.
- We’re in it together — they don’t like doing just as I don’t like having it done to me.
- There’s no data of me left behind. The feeling of patting me down can’t be passed to anyone else. Maybe there’s a video of it, but that doesn’t communicate the same information.
With the scanner, there’s a chance the image could be captured or comprised in some way. It’s the same reason why you should NEVER take a photo with your phone or computer that you would not be comfortable being viewed publicly or by strangers.
Airport scanners serve as a constant warning of how quickly we can become complacent in limiting our freedoms when we feel threatened. More effective would be to always implement reporting and accountability to show the return for the liberties, inconvenience, and time we’re paying. At least there’s the freedom to opt out.