Several years ago I opined that soon we would be flying naked sitting on disposable paper seat covers. Or, like in Total Recall, we’d all have our bodies scanned and visible for inspection.
Full-body scanners are now a reality in many airports. And while they were initially intended to be used for secondary screening only, now the plan is for everyone to be digitally stripped.
I’m curious about how these scanners are going to make us safer, and if we can only combat terrorism by lessening privacy. Because if body cavities cannot be visually inspected with the scanners, what’s next?
And how exactly are the TSA people going to be trained to discern what travelers are wearing under their clothes?
I imagine that clothing maintains privacy for many of us. Off the top of my head, I can think of any of a number of medical items that might present difficulties at the airport: protheses, catheters, colostomy bags, adult diapers, insulin pumps, picc lines and chemotherapy ports. Will all of these items be recognized by the TSA screener? Or will people have to disrobe completely? What if the screener has never seen or heard of these items before?
And what about transgender individuals?
Forgive me if I’m not very hopeful. I just hope they change those seat covers between flights.