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Travelers’ choice: Shed shyness for security?

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Full body scanners may become a regular part of the security proces

By Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — As Ronak Ray hunted for his flight gate, he prepared for the prospect of a security guard peering through his clothes with a full body scanner. But Ray doesn’t mind: what he gives up in privacy he gets back in security.

“I think it’s necessary,” said Ray, a 23-year-old graduate student who was at San Francisco International Airport to fly to India. “Our lives are far more important than how we’re being searched.”

Despite controversy surrounding the scans, Ray’s position was typical of several travelers interviewed at various airports Wednesday by The Associated Press.

Airports in five other U.S. cities are also using full body scanners at specific checkpoints instead of metal detectors. In addition, the scanners are used at 13 other airports for random checks and so-called secondary screenings of passengers who set off detectors.

But many more air travelers may have to get used to the idea soon. The Transportation Security Administration has ordered 150 more full body scanners to be installed in airports throughout the country in early 2010, agency spokeswoman Suzanne Trevino said.


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