Travelers: Airport Body Scanners Reveal Too Much



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Your Email: The new body scanners at Reagan National Airport (web|news) are getting second looks from passengers because they say they are too revealing.

The newest way to help prevent anyone from getting on board a plane with weapons or explosives, but the new method, some say, gets pretty up close and personal.

"Every trip, I just know that's part of my travel," said traveler Mel Pepper.

With two metal knees from surgery, Mel Pepper has always been used to getting patted down. Most recently, he's gotten another option. The TSA's new body scanner which is being used for the first time at Reagan National.

"Yes, very weird, if i'm given the option today, i'll probably will turn it down," said Pepper.

The machine uses electromagnetic waves to take an image of a passenger's body and can detect everything from traditional weapons to ceramic or plastic explosives. For the sake of privacy, the person assigned to pushing the button can't see the image, only another employee, at a separate location, who then alerts security of any problems.

"Invasive. Yeah, definitely too invasive!"

"I'm a little uncomfortable of there being an image of my body without clothes on," said Erica Lebow.

"I need to think about that," said one man jokingly.

The face is blurred out and the images instantly erased TSA says. Proponents said there couldn't be enough security.

"We saw that on 9/11, I lost 30 friends that day. I worked in the trade center, and I never wanna see that again," said aviation expert Bill Fife.

Even if it means the more personal approach.

"Who's gonna keep that plane in the air and stop it from hitting the ground?" said Ray Spiers, "I'm with it."

One machine, which TSA insists is completely safe, costs about $170,000. It was going through test runs Friday but will be fully operational next week. So far they're being installed at 10 airports and while it is just an option now, experts say one day, they could replace metal detectors.


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