The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TSA procedures violate privacy

Viewpoint by Ciaran Lambert/tr news editor

The Transportation Security Administration is introducing a new pat-down procedure in the security line at airports.

Along with long lines and scanners passengers pass through before reaching the terminals and a person who wands passengers down, TSA is requiring that passengers be patted down after passing through security to make sure no one is carrying anything hazardous on their person.

“Pat-downs are one important tool to help TSA detect hidden and dangerous items such as explosives,” the agency said in a statement to USA Today.

Though many fliers are concerned about the pat-down procedure, some are just plain humiliated.

Rosemary Fitzpatrick, a CNN employee, said she was subjected to a pat-down at an airport in Orlando, Fla., last month after the underwire in her bra set off the machine. Although she was taken to a private screening room and patted down by a female officer, Fitzpatrick still felt scared.

“I felt helpless, I felt violated and I felt humiliated,” said Fitzpatrick in an interview with CNN.

Fitzpatrick even said that at one point, she started to cry. The female screener ran her hands around Fitzpatrick’s breasts and over her stomach, thighs and, briefly, her crotch, she said.  

Leslie Ashor, a frequent flyer and an architect from San Diego, told USA Today she is for “anything that keeps us safe” but is still concerned about a search she underwent last month in Detroit.

“I stood there thinking that this is somewhat humiliating even though I didn’t know all the people around me,” Ashor said. “As a woman, it is somewhat unnerving having someone touching you in these areas in full public view.”

But Billie Vincent, a former security director for the Federal Aviation Administration, told the newspaper a pat-down “has to be invasive” to work.

“It is clearly a technique that most people would consider an invasion of privacy,” she said.

If this is considered an invasion of privacy, why is TSA allowed to search someone this thoroughly?

Not to mention the imaging scanners that are being developed that actually see through your clothes and basically expose you to a random TSA officer.

With the pat-downs and the imaging technology, TSA is taking security too far when it violates the people it is designed to protect.

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