Privacy Takes Backseat to Security at Airports

John-TynerJohn Tyner, 31 year-old software engineer, was on his way to South Dakota from San Diego for a hunting trip there. As he was about to enter the secure area of the airport Mr. Tyner was asked to undergo a full-body scan before passing through. As he began to discuss his refusal he turned on the video mode of his cell phone and began to record the interaction. This video combined with Tyner’s ultimate cancellation of his trip due to his refusal to undergo scanning or a pat-down, as begun a debate as to the issue of an individual’s right to privacy versus the collective’s right to fly in safety.Apparently, according to the law as it stands now, once a prospective traveler enters an airport he must allow himself to be either scanned or frisked and is no longer able to refuse, even if he decides not to fly.The ruling, from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, says that “requiring that a potential passenger be allowed to revoke consent to an ongoing airport security search makes little sense in a post-9/11 world. Such a rule would afford terrorists multiple opportunities to attempt to penetrate airport security by ‘electing not to fly’ on the cusp of detection until a vulnerable portal is found.”Therefore, although Tyner did not ultimately fly, he is subject to a civil penalty amounting to the maximum amount of $11,000. As the federal security director of San Diego’s branch of the Transportation Security Administration Michael Aguilar explained, “He’s violated federal law and federal regulations, which states once you enter and start the process you have to complete it,” he said.Mr. Tyner says he will not fly again until these machines disappear.

Alyssa Anderson

Alyssa Anderson has been involved in the world of business on several levels for many years. She was the CEO of a start-up high-tech company until its purchase by a global on-line e-business. Alyssa helped formulate marketing strategies for several other companies as an independent consultant, and she has advised local government on methods to achieve appropriate fiscal responsibility. Her opinions are well known through her many editorials which have been published throughout her career in a variety of local and national print media. She has been heard on radio discussing current issues affecting the business community and Alyssa hopes to bring her special brand of commonsense coupled with uncanny insight into her editorial responsibilities as the Business Page editor for Left Justified. Contact Alyssa at alyssa(at)

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