Smile, you're getting screened - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Smile, you're getting screened

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - As airports across the nation raise security, they're now looking at body scanning technology as a possible answer.  Critics call the security measure invasive, but advocates say it could hold the answer to safe flying.

The pictures are somewhat blurry, the issue is not. Where does the line fall between enforcing safety or invading privacy?

"As a woman I just honestly would not feel comfortable with a scan that would show everything," says Gaye Dobbins.

Body image scanners are now in high demand as the government moves to keep the incident on Northwest flight 253 from happening again.

The machines employ X-ray technology to bounce tiny waves off the body to generate an image skipping the business and getting straight to your birthday suit.

"I'm definitely all for it, I think if it keeps us safe it's definitely something we need to do," says frequent flier Amy Williams.

Only 19 of the more than 400 U.S. airports use the machines, with less than half using them as it's primary screening tool. Frequent flier Ryan Potter has been scanned, with an employee he couldn't see, examining from a back room.

"They have to do it all day long I'm sure they see all kinds of things like that," says Potter, "They're just going to slow things down, its just going to make things take longer."

Air travel experts disagree saying the 15 to 30 seconds it takes per body scan will keep lines moving faster than the pat down method lasting several minutes and avoid some awkwardly placed hands.

With more than 150 body scanners on backorder, a virtual disrobing to get to your destination may be closer than you think.

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