Total Recall Security Tunnels Proposed

SF fans recall the effortless security tunnels from the 1990 movie Total Recall, which was loosely based on Philip K. Dick/s 1966 short story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale.


(Total Recall security tunnel)

Kenneth Dunlap, director of security at the International Air Transport Association, a global airline lobbying group, is now seriously suggesting a similar idea. In the rendering shown below, passengers would be assigned to a particular lane based on their estimated level of risk, with the least risky entering at right. Most people would use the middle; the left lane would be reserved for enhanced inspections.


(Rendering of proposed checkpoints)

Many of the technologies that would be needed to drive a reliable walk-through security checkpoint are still laboratory prototypes. Others, like full-body scanners, biometric identification and various liquid and conventional explosives detection systems and even infrared lie detectors, are already in use or being tested in airports. But public concerns about privacy and the potential health effects of repeated exposure to X-rays, for instance, have led many governments to tread carefully.

“With any new technology, you get a certain amount of ‘What is this about?’ ” Janet Napolitano, the Homeland Security secretary, said in an interview. She said that the 500 or so body scanners in place at more than 100 airports in the United States had recently been equipped with software that generated a generic outline of passengers to protect their privacy. And while she played down the potential health risks linked to certain types of body scanners that use X-ray technologies, she acknowledged that “there is always a certain reticence when radiation is involved.”

From NYTimes. See also this 2008 story in which the same idea is discussed.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/20/2011)

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