Backscatter X-ray machines in airports

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-19-2010
Backscatter X-ray machines in airports
24
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 4:52pm

Has anybody had experience with these?

A few weeks ago, I was sending my daughters back east to visit their grandparents. It was their first "solo" flight without parents.

Going through security, I was told to go thru the regular old metal detector. My teenaged daughters where told to go through the backscatter machine.

For those of you who don't know....it is essentially a strip search and gives a "naked" picture to the reader.

Hmmm.....I started getting upset because they are minors. Who is deciding who goes through the machine and who doesn't? Clearly, when 2 young teenaged girls are directed to go thru it and their old mother is not.....it makes me wonder?

How do we know that there isn't some pervert who is deciding who he wants to see "naked" and who he doesn't?

I would love to hear everyone's thoughts on this. I was told this is going to be the future of ALL security in ALL airports in the U.S.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-01-2010
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 5:44pm

~backscatter~

Recent thread:

http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-psmomspol/?msg=7610.1 .

~Who is deciding who goes through the machine and who doesn't?~

I'm not sure what the new U.S. security protocols are about them (we're installing them here as well to comply with your new protocols).

Here apparently only people singled out for extra screening are being scanned, so maybe spot checks plus profiling?

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/01/05/security-canada-us-airport.html

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-19-2010
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 5:52pm

( so maybe spot checks plus profiling?)

Hmmm....spot checks would be okay. Because that would be random.

Profiling a 11 and 13 year old girls.....not okay. They did not ask my permission or even tell what they were doing. It was only after the fact that I realized what it was. I'm thinking that if they are going to do a "naked" scan on young teen aged girls they should probably get the parents permission.

Can you see the can of worms this could possibly open? Who is viewing those images? Men? Who decides who goes through and who doesn't?

For all we know, there is some creepy pervert who wants to see "naked" pictures of all the young pretty girls. I did find it odd that they didn't ask me to go thru it as well. Just the young pretty girls.

This was very disturbing to me and I did call the TSA and voice my concern. I know it will be shocking to hear this....but I didn't get anywhere.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-10-2010
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 6:15pm

Sadly, fear has caused us to overreact to the threat of an attack. Now we're all considered potential terrorists. The good thing is that at least you knew your daughters were being scanned. The bad thing is that scanning technology is moving on and could cause just random people not even in airports to be scanned:

http://blogs.forbes.com/andygreenberg/2010/08/24/full-body-scan-technology-deployed-in-street-roving-vans/

I can't help but think that there could be some privacy issues here. Plus, how much radiation should the human body be exposed to?

~OPAL~

~OPAL~   onoz_omg2.gif OMG ONOZ image by KILLER_BOB11694

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-01-2010
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 6:25pm

~Profiling a 11 and 13 year old girls.....not okay. They did not ask my permission or even tell what they were doing.~

I'm not sure that a parent's permission or notification is required before profiling and screening minors. Where should the age cut-off be in your opinion, given that teens (including girls) have been involved in the bombings overseas?

~Can you see the can of worms this could possibly open?~

Yes, I can see a few cans of worms - that's why I started the thread I offered you.

~Who is viewing those images? Men? Who decides who goes through and who doesn't?~

You might find some of the answers to your questions here:

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/index.shtm

Questions about security issues can be submitted:

https://contact.tsa.dhs.gov/DynaForm.aspx?FormID=80.

~ I know it will be shocking to hear this....but I didn't get anywhere.~

What did they say?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-19-2010
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 6:58pm

(Plus, how much radiation should the human body be exposed to?)

That was also a concern. It is my understanding that the radiation is minimal and you receive more radiation being up in the atmosphere in the plane than you do from the machine.

I wonder if in 20 years, we will here that those things cause cancer, sterility, etc.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-10-2010
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 7:27pm
I have that same concern. My older son travels extensively, much of it on commercial airlines. I sure hope his multiple exposures don't come back to harm him.

~OPAL~

~OPAL~   onoz_omg2.gif OMG ONOZ image by KILLER_BOB11694

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-16-2008
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 7:33pm
Yes, my cousin travels for her job, often flying 3-5 times a week. She's concerned. She's in her 30s, and has had one child, and wants another one. She's been wondering about all the radiation she's being exposed to, both in the air and from the machines.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-19-2010
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 8:07pm

At this point, I am more concerned with just who is deciding who goes through the machine and who doesn't . IMO....it should be EVERYONE goes thru it....or no one goes thru it.

I really didn't like the idea of my teenaged daughters being "forced" to go through them without my consent. Quite a violation of privacy, if you ask me.

Come to find out...they are SUPPOSED to ask you. You do not have to go thru the backscatter machine but if you don't then you have to go thru a pat down.

They made my daughters do both....nobody told me they had a choice. There was no information whatsoever.

I really didn't like the idea of somebody (that I couldn't see) looking at "naked" pictures of my daughters. They need to do MUCH better on telling the public who is deciding who goes thru and who is looking at the scans. IMO, women should look at the women's scans and men for the men.

But....we really have no idea. Not good.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 8:53pm

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Funny.

 


 


I disagree with you, but I'm pretty sure

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 8:53pm

Apparently my daughter just was asked to go through one of those machines without being told about the X-rays. She wears an insulin pump...it's supposed to go back to the manufacturer if exposed to *any* X-rays. Then they took her carry on luggage completely apart and swabbed everything. She's sixteen. (They said they had to do it because of the insulin pump. Right...like a 16 year old with a bag full of diabetes supplies, sketchbooks, and a tenor sax is some sort of threat. She almost missed her plane.) At least she wasn't stranded overnight in La Guardia like she was on the away portion of her trip last June.

Deborah

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