Facing pressure over airport security measures, Janet Napolitano defends scanners and pat-downs in USA Today, asking Americans “for cooperation, patience and a commitment to vigilance in the face of a determined enemy.” New imaging machines are “safe, efficient, and protect passenger privacy” and have helped find weapons, the homeland security chief writes. She cites the "rigorous privacy safeguards" attached to the full-body scanners—for instance, the officer viewing the naked scans never interacts with passengers, and the officer helping passengers never sees the scans.
As for pat-downs, they're “conducted by same-gender officers” and can be done privately if passengers wish. After the attempted cargo plane attacks and with the holidays ahead, be prepared to do your part, emptying your pockets, and keeping an eye out for suspicious activity. Remember, “each and every one of the security measures we implement serves an important goal: providing safe and efficient air travel for the millions of people who rely on our aviation system every day,” she concludes. (Click here and here to hear from two would-be fliers who likely don't agree.)