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WATCH: TSA Makes Full Body Scanners Mandatory for Some Travelers

Full Body Scanners Now Mandatory for Some Travelers Under New TSA Guidelines

The choice of every passenger to 'opt-out' is out, to ensure terrorists don't slip through airport security, according to a report.

Just in time for the busy Christmas travel season, when a record number of Americans plan to get away for a holiday, the Transportation Security Administration has changed its security screening rules at airports nationwide, reports CBS News. The provision to opt-out of full body scanners is no longer a guarantee.

CBS reports the directive, issued last week, is to be implemented on a case-by-case basis, “as warranted by security considerations,” according to the document obtained by the network.

That means, at the discretion of TSA agents, some transgender and other airline passengers will not be able to request a pat-down, and instead face mandatory scanning using the TSA’s Advanced Imaging Technology. Ticketed travelers will be required to step into the tall cylinders (pictured above) where travelers raise their hands, and set their feet apart, as the machine scans each person for potential dangers such as weapons and explosives. 

What travelers don’t see is that on the other side of the machine, a TSA agent makes a determination on sight whether each individual is male or female, and the scanner follows programming that very closely aligns with that binary view. 

This is one reason transgender travelers in particular choose to avoid the scanners: because they can trigger what the TSA now calls an “alarm” if, for example, a penis is detected on a female-presenting passenger, or a penis prosthesis worn by a trans man. Such an alarm can cause suspicion, concern, and in cases that made headlines around the world, lead to detention and delays in some circumstances. 

Activists created a hashtag to call attention to the issue: #TravelingWhileTrans. 

Watch a report from CBS News below. 

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