Travelers who previously chose a pat-down at airports to avoid body scanners may no longer have the option. The US government quietly updated the rules concerning the use of body scanners, letting TSA agents make screening mandatory for some people.
The TSA has changed their policy on letting passengers opt out of the scanner. You’re still allowed to opt out, but under certain circumstances the TSA can now force you to go through the scanner. According to the DHS:
TSA is updating the AIT PIA to reflect a change to the operating protocol regarding the ability of individuals to opt opt-out of AIT screening in favor of physical screening…While passengers may generally decline AIT screening in favor of physical screening, TSA may direct mandatory AIT screening for some passengers.
The DHS hasn’t explained what conditions would prompt their agents to force you into the scanner, which is awfully convenient. I suppose if they wanted to, they could just force everybody to get scanned, which is probably what this policy change will eventually lead to. In other words, if the TSA wants you to be scanned, you now have no option but to do as it asks.
The TSA is, after all, notoriously bad at catching terrorists (as are these machines). Their real job is to acclimate the population to be more obedient, and that means periodically introducing new rights violations in small, unnoticeable increments.
Original Story Here