As technology advances, it is a fine balance between privacy and security. At some airports, there is backscatter technology that penetrates beneath clothing to do a security screening. Perhaps people accommodate that sort of procedure as the price to pay for a secure flight. Now comes technology that allows a camera to do such a full body inspection from a distance:

“LONDON (Reuters) – A British company has developed a camera that can detect weapons, drugs or explosives hidden under people’s clothes from up to 25 meters away in what could be a breakthrough for the security industry.

The T5000 camera, created by a company called ThruVision, uses what it calls “passive imaging technology” to identify objects by the natural electromagnetic rays — known as Terahertz or T-rays — that they emit.”

link: Britain makes camera that “sees” under clothes

How would you feel if this technology were to be used in an area surrounding a foreign embassy? What about a federal building – a school – a supermarket – a drug store…? Security is the goal. Privacy is the price. How much are people willing to pay? That question alone shapes the civil liberties and the cultural zeitgeist of this and future generations.

Catherine Forsythe
Director of Operations

[tag]privacy, security, surveillance, screening, technology, civil liberties, zeitgeist[/tag]