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Pat-Downs May Soon Become Norm At Airports

In Wake Of Cargo Plane Scare, Privacy May Be Shelved A Bit
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Airport security pat-downs

The TSA announced on Oct. 29, 2010, that security pat-downs may become the norm going forward. (Photo by Jeff Topping/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBS 2/WCBS 880) — Friday’s UPS scare is prompting increased security measures at the nation’s airports. That could include newly introduced pat-down procedures.

PHOTOS: Cargo Plane Terror Probe

Traveler Staci Reidinger told CBS 2’s Jay Dow she’s not happy about the Transportation Security Administration’s use of new full-body X-ray scanners. But citing privacy concerns she said it’s better than allowing a security agent put their hands on her.

“It’s not my religion, but there are many religions where a woman should not be touched by someone else other than their husband, and things like that. It’s not appropriate,” Reidinger said.

New, more intrusive full-body pat-downs are now mandatory for anyone who sets off a metal detector, or refuses to walk through the X-ray scanner, which produces revealing images of the naked body.

“We would do a full-body pat-down as an alternative to that to ensure that there are no threat items on the person,” said the TSA’s Russell McCaffrey.

WCBS 880 talks with Sr. Fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council about cargo security

A majority of the travelers who Dow met at LaGuardia said they’re willing to subject themselves to the TSA’s new pat-down procedure, but they do have some concerns.

“At first it caught me off guard, but then, when I really think about it, it makes sense, because people can get so creative with trying to hide things now. So, like I said, it all comes down to safety,” Bridgeport, Conn. Resident Derya Sahin said.

“It is a little bit more intimate, but I’d rather you be intimate, and me get on the plane safely, then not,” Georgia resident Precious Broussard said.

“Passengers should continue to expect an unpredictable mix of security layers that include explosives trace detection, advanced imaging technology, canine teams, among others,” the TSA said in a statement on Friday.

The goal, according to counterterrorism experts, is to increase the protection of commercial aviation, which they said continues to be an attractive target for terrorists.

The TSA said their pat-down procedure will continue to be conducted by screeners who are the same gender as the passenger.

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