WIS Perspective: An editorial on National Opt-Out Day

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - There's been a lot of media attention lately about the new full body scanning devices being used in many airports by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

These machines allow screeners to see through passengers' clothing electronically, providing a more thorough inspection for hidden explosives like those detected on the notorious "underwear bomber" last Christmas.

These scanners have created a furor over privacy issues, as has the controversial alternative choice you can make, a thorough pat-down.

Many folks say they don't want their body parts revealed on a scanner, nor do they prefer to be groped by a TSA official in a pat down.

A protest has now been organized for November 24th, called National Opt-Out Day, which threatens to snarl travel plans on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

The website for this protest, www.optoutday.com, claims that a person should have the right to purchase an airline ticket without being subjected to such intense scrutiny and invasion of privacy.

Organizers are encouraging passengers to opt-out of both the full body scan and the alternative pat down.

TSA officials say that those passengers will not be allowed on an airplane.

So if you plan to travel this holiday season through an airport that has installed these scanners, be prepared to make a decision.

Are you more comfortable with a little invasion of privacy or taking the chance that someone may be allowed to board your flight with the tools for carrying out an act of terrorism?  You decide.

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