Twenty-five years ago if someone told you that by the year 2010 that in order to get on a plane you would have to walk through an air chamber that “sniffs” out bombs, they would have laughed at you. And rightfully so, the thought of a bomb sniffing machine can still sound outlandish, but they exist. Security devices to secure buildings, airports and even just small, temporary venues has exploded in the last decade with 9/11 pushing people to find better, easier and more accurate ways of detecting threats.
The latest in the series of science fiction turned fact machines are full body scanners. These scanners, instead of just beeping the presence of metal, actual scan and produce an image of where any item (metal or not) is and the form that it is in. They do this either by minute radio waves that only penetrate clothing but can bounce off of other items or by taking X-rays of the subject within twenty seconds of each other and making a full body image that shows foreign objects.
Potential problems with full body scans range from health concerns (there are none) all the way to invasion of privacy. More alarming of the debates, is that with the radio wave type scanner it is possible to discern a great amount of detail about the subject inside the scanner. It is thought by many that the detail, even with the software that blurs the faces subjects, will eventually lead to many lawsuits if it becomes necessary for all people to pass through these as it may at a few airports very soon. Fortunately, for now at least, you have the option of traditional security screening over the full body scanners, offering a private way to pass through.