TSA Pat-Downs Become Even More Invasive

TSA unveiling 'more thorough' pat-down process

TSA unveiling 'more thorough' pat-down process

It's unclear how many people per year test positive for explosives, and the agency doesn't track how many passengers receive pat downs, but about 2 million people pass through US airports daily.

At Denver International Airport, employees were notified last week that the searches "may involve an officer making more intimate contact than before".

This month, the TSA is rolling out a much more invasive, random pat down called "Secondary Screening".

Now, security screeners will use the front of their hands on a passenger in a private screening area if one of the prior screening methods indicates the presence of explosives, according to a "security notice" Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) sent its US members following a March 1 conference call with TSA officials.

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A 2015 Homeland Security study that found TSA officers failed to detect smuggled weapons in 67 out of 70 attempts, a 95 percent failure rate. "It includes the breasts, the buttocks, the groin area", stated TSA Regional Spokesperson, Mark Howell. As of Thursday, the agency is now conducting "comprehensive" pat-downs on all passengers who require pat-downs.

The TSA screens about 2 million people every day at USA airports and says it doesn't track how many passengers are patted down after passing through the imaging scanner.

The TSA also said that in limited cases "sensitive pat-down with the front of the hand may be needed to determine that a threat does not exist".

Up to now, TSA agents have been able to choose among five different types of pat-downs depending on their assessment of the risk posed by each passenger. "I would not get on the plane if someone violated my personal space to a point where it made me uncomfortable", she said. Anderson said the searches will delay flying for those who receive the additional screening but is not expected to cause longer waits for most passengers. In fact, a successful plot on the TSA's watch would probably only lead to more funding for the agency - as government failures usually do - and even less freedom for travelers. However, for those who would rather not be patted down in public, TSA is offering private screening rooms with two officers present and the option of having a companion witness the pat-down.

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