This is the first part of our continuing series highlighting the American public's concerns over TSA security. This is the summary of comments compiled under the sub-heading, "Opposition to AIT" (part C).
Many submissions included statements of opposition to the continued use of AIT. Of these, individual commenters expressed concerns pertaining to efficacy, privacy, health, cost, and civil liberties. TSA addresses each of these topics in subsequent comment responses in this preamble. Some individual commenters also expressed criticism of TSA and its staff. Some comments included statements requesting the elimination of AIT.
Other commenters made statements regarding the impact of AIT screening on their travel choices.
Many of these commenters indicated they no longer travel by air because of the use of AIT. Some said they limit their airline travel as much as possible because of AIT screening. An individual commenter cited a news article that highlights increasing ridership of Amtrak over airline travel. Several other individual commenters noted that international travelers no longer want to visit the United States because of AIT screening. According to another individual commenter, the AIT scanners have created an “adversarial tension” between TSOs and travelers that is detrimental to security.
A few commenters discussed TSA’s statement in the NPRM that the public generally approves of the AIT scanners. For example, an individual commenter stated this claim was not supported by data regarding the public’s approval. Other commenters suggested that TSA should not assume the lack of complaints about AIT to be support for the use of AIT. For example, a privacy advocacy organization stated that TSA has not taken into consideration the number of passengers who choose AIT over a pat-down because it is faster and potentially less invasive of personal privacy, not because they support the use of AIT. Another individual commenter, however, acknowledged that National ABC and CBS news polls indicated that the majority of poll participants favored full body scanners at airports.