The TSA has pulled the plug on nude body scanners. You know, those x-ray machine things that outline all of your body, not just your bones. Like, all of your body. Unsurprisingly, there were lots of complaints by travelers who were none too pleased with their private parts being on display to perfect strangers; so after enough pressure, the Transportation Security Administration caved and got rid of them on Friday. Eventually, the scanners will be replaced with machines that offer a generic outline of a person instead, but for now, it's blue latex gloves and intrusive pat-downs all around. So I'm not quite sure why people are rejoicing.
It's worth noting that nude body scanners weren't mandatory for people. You could opt out of them and get a pat-down instead if you so chose. Personally, I always went that route. Not because I love strange people feeling around in places they shouldn't, but because I'm neurotic and am scared of radiation. But that's really neither here nor there.
Fact is, the machines were intrusive. You were having random people who aren't medical professionals stare at your naked on-screen body. But at the end of the day, the true purpose of them was safety. I don't always agree with everything the government does, but I don't think they'd spend bajillions of dollars to catch a glimpse of some boob. I think software that offers a generic body is a great idea, but until that comes to fruition, the other alternative is pat-downs. It's a choice, I guess; a crappy choice, but a choice -- What's worse: Someone looking at your body or someone touching your body?
Like I said, I'm a pat-down person all the way, because of my fear of radiation. (And, as far as I know, it's always a person of the same sex doing the patting, so there's that.) But for those who really don't want to be touched -- well, I hope you're not the unlucky person who gets plucked out of line for a pat-down. Because that shit is thorough.
What would you rather: Nude scan or pat-down?
Image via Daquella manera/Flickr