Since the horrific terrorist attack on 9/11 airports have increased their security claiming that they are keeping us safe. Starting as a simple mandatory search, Americans would say that is was all right if it was for them to be protected. As time went on new technology was brought to airports such as an electronic strip search using full body scanner, which could see through clothing. Even pat-downs were getting pretty personal. Now, Americans question, “Is this surveillance really working?”, “Is this really protecting us?”, and “Is this really necessary?”.
These many new technologies that are used at airports that are to “protect” us and “protect” our belongings do indeed work. But it has become clear that prejudices and biases have become increasingly involved. There are even no-fly lists. There was a man who had to change his name because he was fed up with consistently missing his flights every time he had to travel because he was being “randomly” searched. Some of the technologies are set up to automatically and “randomly” search people. It is known that a black woman is more likely to be strip-searched than any other person at the airport.
The many technologies are endless. There is an iris scanner that can detect the color of one’s eyes. It can easily detect the difference between blue eyes and hazel eyes. It does have some issues from the elderly who may had cataracts and for people who are in wheelchairs and they will without a doubt be subject to search because this technology doesn’t work for them. There are also motion detectors, thermal sensors, and video cameras to help surveillance.
Security cameras, the number on most thought of surveillance, even have evolved to give better pictures and more clear evidence. With better cameras to detect more issues, wouldn’t the airport not necessarily need these other technologies? So that they “could do more with less?”
Today airports actually want to do “more with more”. With many different stakeholders these security and surveillance systems are being transformed with more than just basic surveillance in mind. While these new technologies are increasing protection for us, it is also increasing instinctive overprotection that could be helpful in the future or most likely be more harmful to the idea of surveillance and security.
An example from our readings in the book, Supervision: an Introductory to the Surveillance Society, states that the security have had instances where they would not be doing their job watching and seeing for issues but instead looking at women’s breasts or butts just for the operators enjoyment. Some of the other findings include that security officers would follow young people and those of color disproportionately. These people are supposed to be protecting us.
On the border of the US there are high surveillance towers and high barbed wired fences to help mandate infractions and help agents to prevent anything unlawful to come across the border. There are more than plenty of differing displays of border surveillance. The European Union created the system EURODAC in 2003. This collected fingerprints and other information from individuals who were searching for sanctuary; refugees. The intentions of the EURODAC were meaningful but like any of the other technologies or regulations for security, it had changed and now is used through the creep function. This is what may have started as good intentions but has been changed by political circumstances.
I believe that people want to be protected from harm and have the right to do so. But is it against their rights to be overly searched and have their privacy invaded? These new surveillance technologies are claiming to help increase the protection of the citizens of the United States from future terrorist attacks. Studies are increasingly showing that these new policies are decreasing and falling into the state of being overprotective and aren’t very effectual in preventing crime and terrorism. The claims are truthful and have great intensions but at some point these new technologies are invading privacy and clearly prejudices and biases are getting in the way. Airports are starting to collect data that is seemingly unnecessary and it is creating friction between the security and those who plan to travel.
The surveillance production in these airports are billion dollar industries. They are invested to help and protect. The claim is true and with all good intensions but in all reality, it is just too much protection and too much security. Just for them to say that they have these technologies isn’t enough to have actual hard evidence that they work. In the end, the hard core surveillance is actually effecting and disturbing the right to privacy and crime is still present in airports today.
( http: / / www.google.com / patents / US20040008253
( http: / / www.aviationpros.com / contact/ 10944310 / e- anthony – incorvati Airports )
(Gilliom, John, and Torin Monahan. “Security at Any Cost?” Supervision: An Introduction Ti the Surveillance Society. Print)
(http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=XcQK1zSxVJYC&oi=fnd&pg=PA249&dq=EURODAC+creep+function&ots=QovoWOW0S_&sig=vMFmSbCvqBWChMlAWwBzHk8KJIA#v=one page&q= EURODAC%20creep%20function&f=false)
( http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080 / .VCWDCEvqMds