We are not exactly in the futuristic age we saw in the “Back to the Future” trilogy with hovering vehicles and shiny metallic clothing – but we aren’t too far off either.
It is amazing we can make hundreds of people fly, coordinate an itinerary with a hotel clerk halfway across the world, and climb the floors of architectural wonders like the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
However, there are times when modern technology skirts the line of innovation and becomes just plain invasive – so read on to find out what Big Brother is up to now.
Airports across the globe have begun implementing technology they claim makes their job easier and more efficient – but in reality only gives them the excuse to pry into your personal life and digitize every aspect of your existence.
Heathrow Airport in London installed hundreds of facial recognition cameras so all passengers and family members saying farewell to their loved ones are scanned and catalogued for personal use.
Dubai is probably the worst offender of using this advanced technology to invade personal rights.
During the pandemic, they not only set up roadblocks to have citizens and guests go through a COVID checklist, they actually drew blood on the popular Emirate Airlines and used rapid tests so they could boot any infected individuals off the flight.
On a much higher scale, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has introduced “futuristic scanners” at airport checkpoints.
What can these high-tech pieces of machinery do?
They can detect all the stuff you’re not allowed to bring on a plane like knives and deadly amounts of shampoo.
I know what you’re thinking, “Isn’t that what the X-ray machine and metal detectors are for?”
It doesn’t seem difficult for TSA agents to find a pocket knife from a previous presidential era that you forgot about in the bottom of your duffle bag – so why fix a system that’s not broken?
Because it’s much more expensive!
And because everyone knows that criminals are more deterred by fancy looking equipment.
“The new full-size Computed Tomography (CT) x-ray systems are able to create 3D images of carry-on items, allowing officers to detect things like weapons, explosives, and other banned items,” Travel and Leisure reports.
So now you can no longer disguise your forbidden items as innocuous “keepsakes” from vacation.
The CT systems allow passengers to leave all items in their carry-on luggage, which makes getting through security checkpoints much faster.
The machine works by creating a 3D image of items in the baggage which TSA agents are able to rotate and view on a screen to analyze items and identify any threats.
Of course, you can bypass all of this – 3D machines and all – by using TSA’s pre-check line.
For $70, you can join Homeland Security’s Trusted Traveler Program that allows you to check in online before you arrive.
Once at the airport, there is a designated security line where you won’t have to take off your shoes, take out your laptop, or throw away your beloved liquids.
The Proud American frequent-flyer would definitely benefit from this program – but for the rest of us average citizens, we’ll just have to ride the wave of the future and submit our bags to the machine.