Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Airports’ Security: Privacy Or Your Life?


With the recent development in the failed bombing attempt by my own country man Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, security once again is not just being reviewed in almost all airports, it is being tightened. This brings in tougher measures, delays, time wasting and consumption as well as restrictions on passengers' behaviour and possessions.

As this develops, what mesmerizes me is how most people have turned to criticising these measures apparently being instituted in good faith – to protect one and all. One of the main potential introductions to security would be a body scanner that will 'show it all'. This particular machine has prompted a lot of criticism from concerned passengers. Their grouse: personal privacy. Damn.


This brings to mind an idiomatic expression coined in the colonial days by the Igbos of Nigeria: "(it is) like the corpse of a white man; to lift it up, NO; to drag it on the ground, NO. What then should we do?" The same critics complain and express their concerns about security, they do not want to be scanned, yet they do not want to be caught in a bomb. What then?

But the question now is: personal privacy or their life, which would they preserve? My humble suggestion is: if you are worried about privacy, consider a private kayak to go across the pond. You will also be saving some money... but I bet probably not your life.

Image taken from BBC

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