The Transportation Security Administration Can See Your Penis
While we’ve been worrying about one company selling our e-mail addresses to another company, technology has continued to develop in other directions, encroaching on our personal, physical privacy; something more immediate and tangible, but often further from our minds.
Students of professor Missy Cummings at MIT are working on “unmanned aircrafts,” or small flying cameras, under a military contract with Boeing. “When a drone sees approaching danger, it will buzz a warning to a soldier’s cellphone,” explained Siobhan Gorman for the Wall Street Journal.
The students at MIT don’t see “1984”-esque constant surveillance — they see “personal sentries,” which will undoubtedly save lives in combat. But considering the fact that they will cost only $300 and can be controlled from an iPhone, they’ll end up doing much more than that. Once they hit the civilian market, posessive husbands and nosy mothers will find uses for them beyond sniffing out snipers, not to mention what stalkers and pedophiles will use them for.
Recently, the Transportation Security Administration has been making a major push for their new “backscatter” airport scanners, which use “Advanced Imaging Technology” to see through not only clothes, but skin and intestines as well, right into your body. The TSA said that the scanners have been useful in finding things like small packages of drugs, but consider what else that means they can see.
Our minds have moved so far into technology, accepting the fact that we rely on gadgets and satellite signals for almost everything we do, and that these gadgets and signals are being monitored, “for our safety,” of course, that that’s what we think of when we think of privacy. Meanwhile, scanners that allow airport security to see into your colon have become standard, and cameras that will allow your jealous ex to see where you go when you leave work will, perhaps, soon be sold at RadioShack.
Foursquare was a bad enough push toward constantly being on the grid, traceable not only by Big Brother, but also by your friends and family, but these developments are the next step toward total eradication of privacy of any kind.