Time to accept change

This week the Government will introduce legislation allowing compulsory body scans at Australia’s International Airports. So from July this year passengers can be subjected to the new technology.

Many people who have previously expressed concern about body scans are objecting again now that it’s becoming mandatory. They are complaining about the invasion of privacy and the risks to their health. But I can’t see what the problem is. The technology that will be introduced in July provides a generic image of the person being scanned. It doesn’t even show your gender and certainly doesn’t show any other quirky physical characteristics you might want to hide. You could even argue that the scanner is no different to walking through a metal detector, and that’s something we do unblinkingly. The scanner could actually increase your privacy by preventing you from being patted down manually by a security guard. Surely that is a good thing.

As for the health risks of the scan, they seem to be minimal and no more severe than what many of us expose ourselves to regularly on a voluntary basis. The scan is comparable to passive exposure to a mobile phone being used several metres away. If you have a serious medical condition, the legislation allows exemptions. 

Let’s not forget that these changes have been introduced to ensure the safety of air travel in our country. And we will be using the most advanced passenger screening technology available in the world. Let’s embrace the new ruling and gain some satisfaction out of knowing that our airlines will be safer.

How do you feel about body scans? Will it change your air travel habits? Is it a step too far? Or do you agree with Ged and will you embrace the change?

Are airport body scans an invasion of privacy?