U.S. Customs recently began installing airport-surveillance systems that scan travelers for contraband using low-power X-rays, which reveal the shape of a person's navel and other, more private parts. The scans are voluntary, so we asked a few privacy experts if they'd rather be patted down by a guard or ogled onscreen:
PATRICK LEAHY, Senator, D-Vt.: "When I was a teenager, I would have liked wallet copies of these scans. But today I know privacy is scarce, and I'd like to see the public draw a line against this becoming a matter of routine. Privacy should count even when contraband is the issue."
DOUGLAS ROSS, Big Brother producer: "When it comes to flying, I am happy to yield my privacy to the greater concern of my safety. Americans are too hung up about their bodies anyway. Why care if some guy who sees the outlines of thousands of genitalia a day sees ours too?"
HARRY SHEARER, a.k.a. Spinal Tap bassist Derek Smalls, who in the film has a foil-wrapped zucchini strapped to his inner thigh: "I'd always select the pat-down. First, because X-rays can kill you. Second, because you never know when you'll run into a really foxy female guard."