Airport Body Scanners Might Actually Make Security Worse, Says RAND Report
In this case, they're probably correct: A new study by Santa Monica's own RAND Corporation finds that the addition of some extra hoops through which we must jump at LAX and other national airports only makes security ... worse.
Yep. You read that right:
Researchers said that extra layers of security, such as body scanners, can have the opposite effect: TSA officers can become more lax than they should be, leading to unnecessary and possibly dangerous holes in the system.
According to the report:
... The introduction of body scanners may lead transportation security officers or behavioral detection officers to be less attentive in identifying unusual behavior or as vigilant in searching.
... Body scanners could cause security screeners to feel that they do not need to be as vigilant and can therefore shift more of their attention to increasing throughput or better interactions with passengers. This could reduce their ability to detect dangerous materials.
Um. Yeah. All that personal invasion for nothing?
The RAND researchers suggest that some of the most effective ways at keeping our airports safe from terrorists are "trusted traveler programs" that could refocus security on the un-screened and potentially "increase the chance of detecting attackers within the
regular public line to 75 percent."
Sign us up.