Airport Security vs. Passenger Privacy
In the past few years the public has become vocal about airport security and their right to privacy. The issue has been with the new security measures implemented by the government. However upset the public may be with these new measures, they were implemented for the reason of protecting the public from harm while traveling by plane and the public needs to get over it. Due to the tragedy of September 11, 2001 airport security became more restrictive for airport personnel and travelers. The events of this day had put a spotlight on one of the many weaknesses within our transportation system. This has lead to our government to make drastic changes to our overall national security to prevent such an incident from happening again. One of the changes was the creation of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in November 2001 (Dillingham, 2003). Their overall mission is “ensuring freedom of movement for people and commerce” (www.tsa.gov). To help enforce their mission with airport security, the TSA has implemented the use of full body scanners and “enhanced” pat-downs by Transportation Security Officers (TSO). Naturally these security measures have raised concerns with travelers over their right to privacy; believing these measures are too intrusive of a search on their person. A more recent incident that drove home the issue of airport security was in December 2009. Northwest Flight 253 had an individual try, unsuccessfully, to blow up the plane prior to landing in Detroit. This incident had brought back memories and fears of 9/11 and lawmakers jumped into action. Even with the metal detectors and other increased security measures, terrorist were still able to bring explosives on a plane. This incident has cause the TSA to implement the widespread use of the low-level X-rays and millimeter-wave full body imaging (Keane, 2009). In 2002, two different types of body scanners were introduced and...
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