#touchedbyTSA tweet could win free iPod Touch after body search
Thanksgiving air travelers can win an iPod Touch in the “#touchedbyTSA” promotion sponsored by the social-mapping app Loopt. To win, people flying on Nov. 23 who are searched by Transportation Security Administration employees must share their experience on Twitter using the hashtag #touchedbyTSA. While Loopt makes light of controversial airport security policies, the TSA is defending them by reminding travelers that airline terrorism remains a legitimate threat.
Full body scan, or #touchedbyTSA?
The Loopt #touchedbyTSA promotion takes advantage of the national uproar over full body scanners that project an image of a person’s virtually naked body on a screen. People who refuse to walk through the scanners have to submit to a manual body search or leave the airport. On Nov. 23, the busiest day at airports during the Thanksgiving holiday, perhaps many air travelers who would have normally acquiesced to a full body scan will opt for the manual body search, simply for the opportunity to win a free iPod Touch via #touchedbyTSA.
The problem with #touchedbyTSA
The TSA can’t be pleased by #touchedbyTSA. Full body scanners provide the best method yet for detecting hidden weapons or devices under clothing. Yet because all a person has to do is stand in them for a few seconds, they accelerate the screening process and make passenger flow through airports more efficient. The #touchedbyTSA promotion, along with National Opt-Out of Airport ScannersDay on Nov. 23, threaten to snarl airports with pre-flight screening delays on one of the busiest air travel days of the year. National Opt-Out of Airport Scanners Day is a protest by the grass roots group We Won’t Fly against the use of full body scanners.
TSA not touched by protests
Even though the TSA has been the target of anger and is now the butt of a clever joke, TSA head John Pistole isn’t backing down. Earlier this week he told a Senate hearing that in its efforts to stay ahead of the airline terrorism threat, the TSA is seeking a proper mix between passengers’ rights and protecting them. He said his priority was that every passenger is secure on every flight. He hopes air travelers are willing to “work together” with the TSA toward that goal.