The folks running TSA have announced that they’re going to remove those full body scanners from airport security lines. You know … you step into those devices, raise your arms, and it basically sees through all your clothes. Yeah … all of them. One of the TSA people – male or female, you just never know – gets to sit in a nearby dark room and look at computer generated images of thousands of people. Naked.
There have been privacy issues from the beginning, of course, and it now appears that those concerns have won out.
We have one of those machines here at the Maui airport and, truthfully, I always try to get in the lines that would take me to that baby. You see, last Spring I had a knee replacement, and when I step into one of these machines, whoever is looking at the monitor sees and immediately identifies my new titanium knee, and I’m waved through without a problem.
Not so with the old fashioned metal detectors. Now when I walk through one of those, bells clang, sirens wail, and the TSA people get real serious looks on their faces. The next thing I hear is, “You wanna follow me, sir?”
I’m then taken off to the side and told to stand on a rubber mat and spread my legs. Meanwhile, whoever is the biggest guy working that particular shift snaps on his rubber gloves, and I get a very thorough, very personal pat-down. And the whole time, people with no metal parts are walking briskly past and staring at me suspiciously.
So go ahead: rejoice at the prospect of regaining this small measure of your personal privacy. I’m afraid I can’t share your pleasure. Not with Bubba and his rubber gloves waiting for me.