81% Of Americans Support Naked Airport Scans... If You Leave Out The Naked Part In Asking The Question

from the fun-with-stats dept

With all the stories of people who don't want to be groped or seen naked just to travel by airplane these days, the TSA must be thrilled with a new poll that was put out by CBS that's getting lots of press claiming that 81% of Americans support such full-body scans. Thus we get titles about how Americans "overwhelmingly" are in favor of such scans.

Of course, as with any poll, the devil is in the details, and specifically in how the questions are asked. As Tim Lee properly notes, the poll question does not mention the whole naked bit or anything relaying the concerns of those protesting the machines. The actual question asked read as follows:
Some airports are now using "full-body" digital x-ray machines to electronically screen passengers in airport security lines. Do you think these new x-ray machines should or should not be used at airports?
Note that there's nothing about how someone will see you naked. Note that there's nothing about the health concerns some have raised (which, frankly, are probably blown out of proportion). Note that there's nothing about the compulsory genital groping should you refuse to be seen naked. Most people don't follow these issues, and without knowing the details, when you present the question as it's been presented in this poll, it should come as little surprise that most people agreed. Try asking the same people whether or not they approve of being scanned by a machine that presents TSA screeners a naked image of their body, and see what the results would be then.

Filed Under: polls, scans, studies, tsa

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  1. icon
    Eugene (profile), 17 Nov 2010 @ 10:48am


    And can I see you text messages in that case? I mean, you have nothing to hide, and I'm really curious who you talk to on a regular basis and what their names are and where they live and also where you live and what your phone number is. I mean...as long as you have nothing to hide.

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