According to the TSA's blog (yes, it has a blog, and a blogroll), the media has exaggerated the problem. It says the pat-down, performed by a same-gender agent, is thorough, not invasive, and that a relatively small number of fliers complain. As for the "naked" scanners, the TSA assures the public that your face is obscured and employees are forbidden to save images or pass them on. But these promises of privacy are only as legit as the people who implement them. And after photos from similar scanners leaked this week, there's reason for concern.
If the idea of naked, yet anonymous, body scans floating around the Internet doesn't bother you, there might be another reason to skip the scanner and opt for the pat-down. Some scientists now warn that the X-rays could pose health risks. But then you're left with the option of a potentially humiliating pat-down. If you want to see what the frisk is like, Nov. 24 is National Opt-Out Day, which encourages people to refuse the scanner.
If you're traveling this Winter holiday, will the new security measures put a damper on your holiday cheer? One thing is for sure, lines aren't getting any shorter.