How Intrusive Are Airport Body Scanners?

By Max Resnik

November 17, 2010 Updated Nov 17, 2010 at 7:13 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) The debate over how intrusive airport body scanners are is heating up, but what do travelers through Fort Wayne International think?

Today we met up with some travelers and for the most part, there doesn’t seem to be that much opposition to them. Certainly a few travelers would prefer the airport use other means to maintain safety, but the vast majority felt that if the body scanners ensure safety, they must be used.

Airport officials understand why some passengers find the body scanners too personal, but they are customers of the T-S-A and must adhere to the guidelines they’re presented with.

One body scanner is in use at Fort Wayne International Airport. It has been there since May and according to David Young, Vice President of Air Service Development, no complaints have been levied since they started using the scanner.

Groups in opposition to the scanners have planned a National Opt Out day—set for Wednesday, November 24. They’re telling travelers to say, “I opt out” when asked if they’ll enter the body scanner. Opponents say the scanner is like an x-ray machine and can basically see directly through an individual’s clothes.

So who can see your image? Faces are obscured so that security officials cannot recognize who is actually in the scanning machine. Additionally, security officials examining the individual’s image are separated from scanner, typically in another room, and are unable to match face to body.

Here in Fort Wayne there is little fear that National Opt Out day could disrupt flight times, but at major airports across the country they are certainly examining the possibility.

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