Poll: Do New TSA Airport Screens Go Too Far?

Generic airport screening shot AP

Revealing full-body scans and genital-touching pat-downs are poised to become a regular fixture of airline travel in the U.S., and people are hopping mad about it.

There have been accusations on both sides of fear mongering, insider profiting scandals and abuse.

Some of the effects of this two month-old change in the way airline passengers are screened are already being felt:

CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg warns that the most immediate effect of these new security procedures will be longer lines and even travel delays, perhaps in no small part because even airline pilots have come out vehemently against them.

• There are several reports, some disputed, of dust-ups with Transportation and Security Administration agents not really offering promised alternatives to the scans.

• Some reports claim TSA agents are simply booting passengers and pilots from airports for refusing to take part, something the TSA notes is its right to do after a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling.

A surprising effect of the scans may eventually be a decline in air travel, according to an online Reuters poll. Reuters' readers were asked whether or not they would change their travel plans to avoid the invasive scans and pat-downs, and a whopping 96 percent (65,708 of 68,513) have thus far said yes.

Those numbers could be skewed because one of the plethora of online opponents to the new scanning procedures may have asked readers to go to the site and vote.

In contrast, a new CBS News Poll released Monday found 81 percent of Americans think airports should use these new machines -- including a majority of both men and women, Americans of all age groups, and Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike. Fifteen percent said airports should not use them.

For her part, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says in a USA Today opinion piece that body scanners used at many airports are safe and the images viewed in private.

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