N.J. lawmakers urge U.S. to scrap body scans

A bipartisan group of New Jersey lawmakers is sponsoring a resolution urging Congress to end the use of full body scans at airports. They question the effectiveness of the screening in detecting potential terrorists.There are also concerns about privacy.”It’s a virtual strip search that reveals not only your private parts but can reveal intimate medical details like colostomy bags and that kind of thing,” said Deborah Jacobs, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in New Jersey. “The likely effectiveness of these technologies in preventing attacks doesn’t justify the level of intrusion involved.”Sen. Michael Doherty said Monday the scans may violate constitutional protections and state privacy laws”American citizens should be able to travel freely without being harassed and intimidated by their government,” said Doherty. “There are other procedures that can be used and there are other countries around the world providing clear role models on how to do this.”The lawmakers also said the screening machines could pose potential health risks.And they’re concerned about reports of inappropriate touching by TSA agents when travelers who refuse the screening are given patdowns.The state lawmakers say there are less invasive detection systems that can be used without raising constitutional and privacy issues.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.