The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) introduced new airport screening procedures on November 1, 2010. 54% of those who have traveled since the changes took effect said that they personally went through a full body scanning machine or saw someone who did, and 59% said they experienced a full body pat down or witnessed someone else receiving one. 28% of those who have traveled since November 1 describe encountering longer airport security lines than usual, while 54% say the lines were about the same length as usual.
Frequently flyers and those who have experienced the new procedures first hand are not convinced of the effectiveness of these new procedures. On the contrary, they are more likely than non-flyers and occasional flyers to say that the procedures will not make a difference in safety.
Last week, the Economist/YouGov poll asked how comfortable people feel about undergoing a full body scan. 55% expressed discomfort. This week, the Economist/YouGov asked the same question after displaying an image produced by the scanning machine. The percent of respondents saying they would feel uncomfortable receiving such a scan was 60% in the question version with the image.
There are partisan differences on the question of whether the risk of terrorism justifies the use of full body scanning machines despite health and privacy concerns. 50% of Democrats agree that the use of such machines are justified, while Republicans and independents are more evenly divided on this question. Among those over thirty, more support the use of full body scanning machines than oppose it. The reverse is true of those under thirty.
While some are concerned about the radiation or invasion of privacy from full body scanning machines, others say the risk of terrorism justifies these costs. What do you think?
|Full bodyscans are notjustified||Full bodyscans arejustified tokeep us safe||Not sure|
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Feelings about full body scanners change if they are to be used in a targeted manner, only on people who screeners think may pose a threat. Supporters of selective screening outnumber supporters of universal screening. Republicans are particularly in favor of this option, with 53% expressing their support.
Interested in more details about the poll? We have a tab report available now.
Image source: Flickr (Abdallahh)