I’ve been Scanned

I just came back from Chicago to beloved Europe. The trip preparation was an administrative nightmare (finally resolved by the spending of a lot of ‘Benjamins’); but I digress, I want to report here on my experience of stepping into a full body scanner – Little precision, it was at O’Hare Airport and operated by the TSA; so not exactly a reference in term of European use, but still an interesting events; and it was on a domestic flight (Chicago to Philadelphia)

Let’s just break it down in four points:

  • Comfort: That’s ok, no tickling, no headaches, … This is not stressful or painful, you just stand in the middle of the scanner (basically between two blue panels) with your hands in the air and you feet on the floor marks.
  • Privacy: That is fine as far as I know: the operator was no where to be seen and communicated with the Security agents near the scanner via radio. So that looks fine for me.
  • Selection: “randomly” selected: the full body scan takes more time than just a metal detector walk-thru, so the next in line when the scanner is “empty” is selected, no profiling of any sort. However, I haven’t been presented with the option to refuse.
  • Efficiency: Well, that the downsize: even while I was screened with a body scan, I still had to removed my shoes, belt, emptied my pockets, … So what is the point of a body scan if you still have to remove everything on you. I thought the interest was that one would be able to get scanned “on the spot”.

Maybe I’ll go through a similar scanner on my way back in October… I’ll let you know.

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One Comment on “I’ve been Scanned”

  1. […] of controversy in the US. I already reported on my own experience being scanned by such a scanner (see here). I will now put my scientific lab-coat on and discuss some possible alternatives. Let me be clear: […]


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