Full-Body Scanners: From Airport Security to Your Local Shopping Mall

By now we have all seen or heard about the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) x-ray scanners in airports. If you plan on traveling and prefer not to receive the intensive full-body pat-down, you must go through the scanners in order to pass security. But regardless of all the controversy surrounding the invasion of privacy associated with these scanners, the question has been raised: can this technology be used for more consumer friendly purposes?

Some people think that not only can scanners be used, but are an ideal approach, to helping people shop for clothes and picking out their own unique, perfect sizes. Imagine the following scenario: you walk into a shopping mall, step into a TSA-style x-ray scanner, which scans your body in 20 seconds and then tells you the exact size measurements of clothes that fit your body perfectly based on different stores and brands.

You then get a printout of all of your clothing sizes based on different brands or stores and proceed to shop without ever having to try on clothing or worry about them being the wrong size. For some people, especially women, for whom clothing sizes change dramatically from one store to the next (a size 4 can be a size 8 in store A and size 10 in store B), this sounds like the perfect solution to finding the perfectly sized dresses or pants.

And it really is a great approach that would help turn shopping from a chore to a quick and easy activity, not to mention it would make shopping for clothes online simple and easy as can be. But what about the negative aspect mentioned before? The risk of invasion of privacy if and when these scanned images will get out to the public, or the risk of radiation that most of the travelers are worried about now?

Is the convenience of super-simple shopping and getting perfect-fitting clothes worth the risk of radiation-caused disease or the invasion of privacy? Leave a comment below and tell us what you think.

(Via Yahoo)

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  • Backscatter x-ray airport type scanners deliver a significant dose of collimated soft x-rays (50KVp) to skin and underlying tissues generating more double DNA breaks greatly increasing your chances for cancer. The “official” published whole body dose greatly underestimates skin and soft tissue exposure (breast, skin, testicles, thyroid) by 20x because soft x-ray radiation penetrates a few cm, where whole body dose assumes radiation is averaged over body volume.
    For example about 5% of women carry the BRCA (DNA repair gene) making them hyper sensitive to ionizing radiation greatly increasing breast and ovarian cancer risk. Expecting mothers and young children should avoid non-medically necessary radiation.
    Hope this Helps.
    To learn more Search: Airport-Back-scatter-Scanner-Dose-Explained AND OR

  • I love technology using x-rays for measurements IS a health risk, remember the x-ray shoe inspector that was declared “safe”?

    A tape measure would be safer and cheaper.

  • mike

    nice stan, just helping to boil us in our pots.. first we got used to cameras watching us at every moment.. now we’re literally supposed to deal with computer assisted strip searches in out daily lives.. when will people stand up and say “this.. this is too invasive of a technology.. it erodes our sense of privacy, and craps all over our freedom based identity as americans”

    .. or you know.. f-it and watch more american idol..