TSA move to replace body invaders a good one

The news that the Transportation Security Administration is swapping out the invasive body x-ray scanners with other equipment is good news indeed.

Setting aside the debate over whether the levels of radiation to produce x-rays is a health risk, the images created were truly invasive to personal privacy. We went out of our way to look for TSA lines where only magnomitors were in use in order to avoid the x-ray body invaders and as often as not requested a pat down if only the body invader was in use.

Europe has long used machines that produce stick figures of the person going through the machine, and little round dots to highlight areas that required pat downs. We had no issue with these machines.

The stick figure machines will reduce the number of invasive pat downs as well. Hopefully this will speed the entire security process.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLqZknQ6GcQ&w=560&h=315]

And another:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3yaqq9Jjb4&w=560&h=315]

15 Comments on “TSA move to replace body invaders a good one

  1. Maybe now they can do something about unnecessarily unfriendly passport control officers as well.. Being civil and polite costs nothing… and frankly builds up a lot of goodwill instead… the first touchpoint with the US makes people negative from the get go for no reason

    • The US passport control is far, far nicer than Canada–believe it or not. We’ve had nothing but trouble going INTO Canada, to the point where we don’t want to bother any more.

      • Well, i actually travel to Seattle regulary, at least 30 times in the last 6 years, and i also travel quite a bit to Vancouver and Toronto (and to about 60 other countries in the last 15 years), and all that first hand experience would suggest something quite different. I have noticed that oither countries, including allies, “retaliate” against US passport holders, which is very unfortunate. This is however the point i was making… a bit of politeness creates a lot of goodwill.

      • No fingerprinting required to enter Canada, though.

        That said, the EU immigration experience is generally much more pleasant than either US or Canada (assuming you are not a national of the country you are entering).

  2. I fly close to 100 flights per year … and I have yet to go through one of the TSA scanners of any variety since the original underpants bomber scare. Manual pat-downs are inoffensive (and often ineffective) enough …

  3. leehamnet :
    The US passport control is far, far nicer than Canada–believe it or not. We’ve had nothing but trouble going INTO Canada, to the point where we don’t want to bother any more.

    I am from Europe and went though the passport control in Montréal-Trudeau this year. In fact I was very surprised about the friendly and welcoming attitude of the officer controlling my docments especially compared to the US. But having been to Canada just once does not really provide reliable statistics.

    • We’ve been to China nine times, all on business, and never had the problems we’ve had going into Canada–and China government is a bunch of thugs.

      • Years ago as a student I met quite a lot of US backpackers that mimicried by way little canadian flags on clothes and bags There must have been a reason ;-).
        Doesn’t work with passports, though.

  4. The bodyscanner tests at Hamburg airport (2010/11) were quite
    Too many false positives. Machines have been taken away,
    no reuse planned in the near future.

  5. Very entertaining from the outher side of the pond thank’s it saved me going to the pub for a beer.

  6. I have just read in the ‘Soctman’s’ that up to 60 ‘Spitfires’ with Griffen engines in prime condishon have been found in Burma and are to be dug out in the next few weeks.

  7. Rarely flew from Canada to US. Only ever happened back in 2001-2002 when I was working in Seattle. I never did have a problem with the US Customs and Immigration back then. I have also crossed many times between the US and Canada via car and I must admit I never had a problem with either authourities.
    Having said that though, I have noticed that the American authourities are looking much more paramilitary and no-nonsense these days. They also seem to be much more particular about things then they used to be. An example, we were crossing the border and one person in the car was European and had to fill out an I-95 (I think that is the form). In the past, that person had to go inside to fill it out. Now they make everybody get out of the car (including babies) and go inside, while the car is supposedly inspected (as the keys need to be left in the car). Pretty close to police state tactics, in my opinion.
    Must admit that all were polite, if not friendly.

    • In Cold War times doing the transit from West Germany to West Berlin as a West German citizen was quite the hassle ( either by train or with your own car. With a bit of bad mood they would complete disassemble your car.) Entering the SU via Sheremetyevo in ’75 was much more relaxed.

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