Airport Security: Why Safety Is More Important Than Privacy

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Airport Security: Why Safety Is More Important than Privacy

Since September 11th, people have become concerned about airport security. The millimeter body scanner is one of the outcomes of people’s concerns. The scanner creates a full body image that can reveal any suspicious element that may be concealed on their person. While this type of image can calm some fears, the scanner is now a controversial issue. Arguments for each side focus on two main areas: privacy and safety. When it comes to safety, most of us agree to give up some sort of personal freedom in order to be safe. On the other hand, the loss of some freedom can conflict with privacy, and some are not willing to give up some personal space to be safe. In other words, a line has been drawn between safety and privacy. In my opinion, we have to give up smaller self concerns in order to promote the common good. We should prioritize safety over privacy, even though body scanners violate some personal space. To understand how the issue of privacy and safety relate to security scanners fully, we must define first the function of the security scanner. A security scanner is a machine that creates a virtual image of a body and shows everything “opaquely” under a person’s clothes (USA TODAY). The scanner moves around a person and creates millimeter wave images that are three dimensional holographs (Lisa Vaas). After September 11, TSA (Transportation Security Administration) worked to place to have modern security systems in US airports, and the 3D scanner is the result of this modernization. However, the scanner is not accepted by all travelers. The lack of acceptance reveals concerns about privacy. Sarker-4 Why should we be more concerned about safety than we are about privacy? To answer this question we will examine safety and its...
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