News over the weekend that Australia will introduce body scanners at international airports is bound to stir up the same sort of controversy as the US introduction of the technology. Speaking as a frequent traveller, I don’t give a damn.
The systems will be rolled out from July this year, and once that happens you won’t have the option of requesting a pat-down instead. It’s that detail that appears to be stirring up objections initially, along with the usual objections to measures that might not make any real difference to airport security. But those measures are a fact of life these days. Whining about them won’t make me feel any better.
I experienced a TSA body scanner for the first time on my recent trip to the US. I made a slight idiot of myself by not standing still long enough initially — I hadn’t clocked that the scan was going to happen — but apart from that it was extremely straightforward.
Given the choice, I would much rather do that than have to get patted down by some grumpy, underpaid security guard. I’m also conscious that the process of getting scanned is quicker, especially since it doesn’t demand matching up the gender of the guard with the gender of the person getting patted down. I’m all for anything that makes getting through an airport quicker.
Yes, I know there’s a theoretical risk that those images could end up on the internet somewhere. However, at this point, there’s more than enough embarrassing material about me online anyway. I’m really not worried about infra-red shots of my junk joining the party, and the technology isn’t meant to include that level of detail anyway.
So that’s my take. What’s yours? Tell us in the comments.