A full-body scanner is a device that creates an image of a person’s nude body through their clothing to look for hidden objects without physically removing their clothes or making physical contact. They are increasingly being deployed at airports and train stations in many countries. They scan your entire person for concealed weapons, bomb-making material, and, as a bonus, for stuff like baggies of marijuana stuffed into trousers. They use various technologies, and as a front-line defense they’ll be extremely useful.
Two advantages of full-body scanners over a physical strip search are that it is quicker (takes only 15 seconds) and that people do not have to be touched in a manner that some might consider offensive. Scans apply to everyone, avoid “profiling” with pat-downs. One of the problems of relying on selective security pat-downs is that it is often dependent upon assumptions surrounding a persons ethnicity or religion. Scanners avoid this by searching everyone without regard to race or religion.
A disadvantage is that the scanners are being used to perform routine, virtual strip searches without probable cause which opponents claim are illegal and violate basic human rights. Furthermore, the true long-term health effects of the active, radiating technologies are unknown. Full-body scanning technology allows screeners to see the nude surface of the skin under clothing, prosthetics including breast prostheses and prosthetic testicles, which may require a potentially embarrassing, hands-on physical inspection once detected.
The scanners also can detect other medical equipment normally hidden, such as colostomy bags and catheters. Other privacy concerns come from transgendered community, who may feel that the routine full-body scans are embarrassing and could potentially lead to harassment. Airport employees in Lagos have been caught using full body scanner images as a type of porn. The implementation of this device in airports came shortly after the 2009 Christmas Day bombing attempt. It was implemented due to the belief that it could detect concealed weapons, bomb-making materials as well as illegal drugs like cocaine.
Health issues have risen due to the use of this technology Medical researchers recommend against using ionizing radiation on certain populations like pregnant women and children, and opponents of the devices say that no long-term studies have been done on the health effects of either backscatter x-ray or millimeter wave scanners Opponents have also argued that defects in the machines, damage from normal wear-and-tear, or software errors could focus an intense dose of radiation on just one spot of the body.
Opponents of full-body scanners claim that the technology is ineffective because terrorists have already evolved their tactics with the use of surgically implanted bombs or bombs hidden in body cavities. In one test of the full-body scanners, the machines failed to detect bomb parts hidden around a person’s body. In my opinion, the use of full body scanners should be stopped. I think the disadvantages of this technology exceed the advantages. We should turn to less embarrassing but effective technology like bomb-sniffing dogs, weighting or the usual pat downs. It is not worth the stress as it does not provide the best of body scans