National (CBSNews)– Americans have differing views on two potentially inconvenient and invasive practices that airports could implement to uncover potential terrorist attacks, a new CBS News poll shows. Americans overwhelmingly approve of the use of full-body digital x-ray machines – a new technology in use at some airports in the U.S. Most, meanwhile, do not approve of racial or ethnic profiling – a practice not in place.
In response to continued security threats, the Transportation and Security Administration recently began introducing full body scanners with more enhanced technology than past devices into airports nationwide. If a passenger refuses to pass through the new scanners, TSA agents are now allowed to conduct a very detailed, very personal, body search on that person.
Although some civil rights groups allege that they represent an unconstitutional invasion of privacy, Americans overwhelmingly agree that airports should use the digital x-ray machines to electronically screen passengers in airport security lines, according to the new poll. Eighty-one percent think airports should use these new machines — including a majority of both men and women, Americans of all age groups, and Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike. Fifteen percent said airports should not use them.