Debate Rages Over 'Strip Search' Airport Scans

Detroit bomb plot pits security against privacy
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2009 3:29 AM CST
Updated Dec 30, 2009 5:15 AM CST
General Electric's Ion Track EntryScan apparatus is shown at Lambert International Airport in St. Louis.    (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, J. B. Forbes)

(Newser) – Next-generation body scanning devices are coming to more American airports, triggering another heated debate over privacy versus security in the wake of the terror attack on a Detroit flight. Experts say the devices, which can detect objects under clothes, could have stopped the attempted Detroit attack. Critics warn that the devices can't detect everything, and fear that naked images of passengers could end up on the Internet.

Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz has sponsored a measure calling for the scanners to be used only for secondary screening, and imposing harsh penalties on workers who copy images. "I’m on an airplane every few days; I want that plane to be as safe and secure as possible,” Chaffetz tells the New York Times. But “I don’t think anybody needs to see my 8-year-old naked in order to secure that airplane," he added.

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