Latest news from the TSA: “In March 2010, TSA began deploying 150 backscatter imaging technology units, which were purchased with American Recovery and Reinvestment Art (ARRA) funds. TSA plans to deploy a total of approximately 450 imaging technology units in 2010.”
Ok I am all about airline safety, whatever it takes to keep our sky’s safe. Yet recently while going through security at Tampa International Airport, I was approached by this tall “30 something” male guard who told me I had been randomly selected for additional screening. The officer pointed to this large metal and glass device and then asked would I like to be screened by the machine or step over to another area and be physically inspected by a female guard. Being the naïve mother of two who doesn’t get out much, I stepped right up to this “James Bond” like screening apparatus. Granted the “Transportation Security Administration began installing these state-of-the-art advanced imaging machines back in 2007” I of course was unaware of how the technology worked.
Later, I told my husband about the incident, he laughed and said you basically agreed to let the security guard see you naked. Needless to say I was mortified…. then I was mad. I understand the necessity for these types of machines with the ever increasing threats present in the world today…. but shouldn’t I have been screened by a female guard, and vice versa for a male passenger? Shouldn’t a woman have been the one looking at my images? I never did complain to the airport about my experience but I thought it might be worthwhile to give other women (and men) the heads up!
Next time you are going through security and have to pass through either a millimeter wave or backscatter imaging device, the two types of machines the TSA now uses, be sure to ask for the appropriate guard to do your screening! Like I said I am all about safety but I think a girl is entitled to a little privacy as well!