TSA Pat-Down Search Abuse

At many airports around the U.S., the Transportation Security Administration is now using full body scanner machines and also much more invasive pat-down searches. While passengers are supposed to be told that they have a right to opt out of the body scanners, in some cases, TSA employees are not giving them any other option.

If you do not want your body to be scanned by a machine that uses x-rays to create a naked outline of your body, you may insist on your right to opt out of the full body scanners. But, you may then be subjected to an invasive pat-down of your body at the hands of TSA screeners. The TSA has recently changed its guidelines and these pat-downs are now much more invasive. Screeners are now authorized to use the front of their hands and to touch areas around breasts and groins. Passengers being screened are supposed to be given privacy during these more invasive pat-downs and the searches are supposed to be done by screeners of the same sex. Opting for the pat-down will take more time.

The ACLU is interested in obtaining information about the conduct of these searches. If you are denied the right to opt out of the body scanner machines or believe you have suffered from rough, rude, and humiliating manhandling and groping of breasts and crotch areas, sexual comments, and a lack of privacy, please contact us by using the complaint form linked below.

File a complaint with the ACLU


The ACLU is assessing possible responses to this policy. In doing so, it is extremely helpful for us to gain a sense of the kinds of abuses that are taking place. If you have experienced a problem with the full body scanners or pat-down searches at airport security, you can help us end these problems by reporting your story.

> ACLU letter to TSA on Abusive Airport Pat-Downs
> TSA guidelines on pat-down searches


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