Monday, May 18, 2009

Who Needs the Internet for Naked Pictures?

I can not tell you how horrifying this is to me.

If I want people to see naked pictures of me, that's what I have the Internet for.....not that I want people to see naked pictures of real....never mind about that one time in college.

just kidding...

or am I?

Anyway, this seems like an incredibly bad idea to me. Performing cyber strip searches of airline passengers is not the solution for making our airlines secure. 

Besides the ick factor involved, it is a very real threat to our reasonable right to privacy.

"Ha!" you might say, "There is no such thing as a right to privacy!"

"Ha!" I would say,"You're wrong!"

Take, for instance, yours truly.  I have a right to privacy with regards to any medical conditions I have.  I know this because I am forever filling out forms at every doctor's office I visit with regards to federal laws about my right to privacy.

"Well, that's different," you might say.

Again, I would say,"Wrong!"

You see, I wear/use a silicon based prosthesis.  Under normal security measures this would arouse no attention.  It is beneath my clothing and looks perfectly convincing.  I have no fears of being pulled aside in a security line and being questioned about whether my body is authentically me.

However, consider the possibility that I had to walk through one of these machines.   All of sudden security workers might be wondering exactly what this strange formation under my clothing is.  Is it a bomb?  Tear gas?  A sack full of cocaine?

Suddenly I'm pulled out of line, forced to remove my clothing to satisfy the questioning of security officers, who no doubt might feel badly about assuming the worst, but who would also be privy to information about medical conditions I have had in the past.  

We assume that as long as no one has anything to hide, then there is no reason to object.  When everyone is clothed it is very easy to forget that there are all sorts of things under our clothing which are none of the government's business.

Think of people who may have ostomy bags because of having had part of their colon removed. Think of people who may wear Depends because they are suffering from incontinence.  Think of men who may have had testicular cancer and had one or both of their testicles removed.

I'm not trying to gross people out, but these are very real, possibly embarrassing issues which private citizens shouldn't have to worry about simply so they can board a plane.

Bob, in security, doesn't have the right to probe into my, or anybody else's, personal issues or conditions.

Let's keep it that way!


Retriever said...

I agree. Personally, I think K9 dogs are the best way to scope out bombs, drugs and/or malefactors. I've often wondered in a conspiracy theorist sort of paranoid way born of fatigue if the reason they aren't used more is that they would catch all kinds of famous, rich or oetherwise well-connected people smuggling drugs, pets, food or other verboten items. But dogs know when someone is not alright.

A related privacy story: a member of my family in remission from a serious mental illness, and on maintenance meds, told me how she went in for a sick visit to a new doctor, who had replaced her old one. Trying to decide if she would stay with the MD. Nurse asked what meds she was on (of no possible relevance to the condition that brought her in). MD glanced and proceededf to do the most cursory exam and airily opine that it was just stress.

Relative has decided that when she interviews the next possible internist, she will not disclose the psych meds she is on, lest she be the victim of sloppy care by a prejudiced physician who assumes she is just a head case.

Buz said...

I used to fly quite a bit for work. My rule was "if it takes less than 3 hours to drive, go by car, if it takes more, fly" allowing for the time in the airport and the inconvenience of having to do all the baggage. Since 9/11, I have changed that to 6 hours, since it is a lot more time in the airport and it is a much greater pain to fly.

With the past 3 trips I have made, I have driven 14 hours rather than fly Northwest (which is known as "Northworst" around here) due to the poor service and general attitude of the NW clerks I have dealt with. (On a previous trip, I was IN LINE 15 minutes before the cut-off time, but it took two clerks 20 minutes to handle the one customer ahead of me ... since I had passed the magic cut-off time, they were not going to let me board the plane.)

(Retriever, tell your family member that while it may seem unlikely that meds can affect things which they are not supposed to, side effects are varried and far reaching ... and when you start dealing with things like the side effects that grapefruit and cheese can have, it is better to let the MD know what you're on, and if they do less than their best because they think it is in your head then deal with that as a separate issue.)


Retriever said...

Preaching to the choir, Buz. I badgered her to compromise, and tell the MD once they had paid adequate attention to the physical ailment and were on the point of prescribing if necessary. And then, horrors, the MD might have to spend a minute or two more with her making sure no incompatibilities. It's actually interesting to me that her shrink is more attuned to her physical health, and to side effects, whereas her GP prescribes blithely in three minutes with no knowledge of the other meds or any decent advice about general health, or side effects, let alone at the level of detail of grapefruit, etc. (I badgered spouse about that based on a med he was taking which HIS MD didn't bother to warn him about).

We drive our kids to college, including one over 8 hours away because of the airport hassles and delays. Not to mention my wimpy mother's nervous about one kid's vulnerability hanging around large public spaces with predators on the prowl ever since some sleaze tried to get her to take a taxi with him.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Excellent points, terri. I had thought of these only in my own self-centered way: well, I'm not attractive, which anyone could see anyway, so who cares? I had neglected the very common exceptions you point out.