Air Travel Prices Have Gone Up: Security For The Cost Of Privacy Essay

Air Travel Prices Have Gone Up: Security For The Cost Of Privacy Essay

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Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America, airport security has undergone significant changes nationwide. For all air travelers this is an intense issue. Post-September 11, airline travel security has invoked the increase use of technology and better training of security personnel to improve travel security. Some of these suggestions, such as better training for airport screeners, checking all bags for bombs, developing stronger and safer cockpit doors, and putting air marshals on flights, do not bring up privacy issues and are typical security measures. Others, however, are invading the personal privacy of air travelers. "There is only one technology commercially available today that can disclose all types of contraband concealed on people's bodies even under clothing and hair, including ceramic and plastic weapons and explosives; not only metallic items. These devices, known as body scanners utilize a minute dose of ionizing radiation to create images representative of persons and contraband." (Williamson) The problem with these body scanners is when a person is scanned for contrabands; the image that appears on the monitor is an outline of the passenger's nude figure. I believe that in order to maintain a safe environment in our Nation's airports while increasing air traveler's confidence in airport security procedures, some personal privacy may be imposed upon. This is the cost they will have to bear if they want to maximize their protection against potential threats in our Nation's airports.

Backscatter technology works as a result of Compton Scattering. How that works, is when the x-ray beam comes in contact with organic materials, it then "scatters back" toward the detectors. When the image is displayed o...

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...elihood that a terrorist will try to bomb a plane. "I believe it will happen, the chances of someone bringing an explosive on an aircraft by walking through a metal detector or in hand-carried luggage are very real." (Mica)

"Since U.S. airlines are seen as national symbols, the threat of attack remains high. For this reason we must deploy available technologies to reduce the risk we face. We know we cannot make the world risk free, but we must protect our citizens, their values and the country's economic strength to the best of our ability. The technology is available today, and to not utilize it to the fullest extent possible would be simply irresponsible on all our parts." (Williamson) Everyone has their own opinion about the airport security these days. It all comes down to security for the price of privacy and which is more important. It is an endless debate.

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