Airport security is about to get even more invasive.
The Transportation Security Administration announced Friday that it is currently “implementing new pat-down procedures” at airports nationwide.
Pat downs are generally conducted after a passenger has set off the magnetometer and, as the TSA noted in a statement, it is an essential means of ensuring that passengers do not have dangerous items concealed on their person. But pat downs are about to get more up close and personal.
“TSA officers used to pat down passengers with the backs of their hands, but now they'll use the fronts of their hands to search more than ever before, in some cases touching body parts that once were off limits,” ABC News reported.
So now, it’s supposedly acceptable for airport security to cop a feel on your most intimate areas? What’s next? They might as well just start ruffling your hair to see what’s hiding in there, or kick you in the shins when finished patting you down, you know, just in case.
According to ABC, these full-body pat downs will only be used on those who opt out of walking through a full-body scanner, many of which were introduced earlier this year. So you have a choice: let airport strip you down on camera, or feel you up in person. Wonderful.Even from the TSA’s own statement, this new procedure will just be piled on to a long list of other invasive security measures.
“Passengers should continue to expect an unpredictable mix of security layers that include explosives trace detection, advanced imaging technology, canine teams, among others,” the TSA said.
Perhaps these new security measures are all part of the industry’s elaborate plan to give passengers something to hate other than airline fees. Though this new step may improve our safety, it will only further damage the industry’s already poor public image.