Share Your Thoughts on Travel Privacy
You may have heard about or experienced new security procedures used by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in our nation's airports.
The TSA is charged with the very serious duty of protecting U.S. travel and transportation and I greatly value the job they do. TSA officers are given a difficult task. They don't set the rules, but they do follow them in service to our country.
Over the past few weeks, TSA officers began conducting "enhanced pat-downs" -- a more intense screening procedure, criticized by some recent passengers as an invasion of their personal privacy. The pat-down is used when a passenger opts out of being screened by Advanced Imaging Technology, which some passengers object to because it allows screeners to view highly revealing images of passengers' bodies. A pat-down may also be conducted if something is detected by the Advanced Imaging Technology or a metal detector.
While we need to continually develop ways to secure our air travel, we must also continually strive to strike the proper balance of preserving airline security and respecting the privacy and dignity of travelers.
These new TSA screening procedures affect all of us who utilize airline travel, and I want to hear your thoughts.
Are you okay with enhanced pat-downs and body imaging?
I've also called on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, upon which I serve, to hold a hearing after Thanksgiving to focus on airline travelers' experiences with the new screenings.
I believe that we can find that balance between privacy and security. Please let me know about your thoughts and experience with the new airport screening techniques.
If you are traveling by air this week, also remember to prepare for the security lines. You can avoid delays by taking all items out of your pockets before you walk through a metal detector or imaging technology, including keys, cell phones, combs, eyeglasses, etc... The TSA has other tips online here.
While traveling over Thanksgiving can certainly be stressful, I hope you do have the opportunity to relax with family and friends over the holiday.
Photo by Dan Paluska via Flickr.