Airport security pat-downs are about to get interesting. Starting this holiday season, the Transportation Security Administration will be using much more aggressive manual search techniques, which critics are comparing to "foreplay."
The new techniques enable TSA screeners to use their palms and fingers to feel and probe for hidden weapons or devices around sensitive body areas, including the breasts and groin. Previously, TSA told its screeners to use the backs of their hands to pat down passengers' sensitive areas.
The new pat-down procedures are the alternative to being screened by advanced imaging technology, which creates a virtually nude image of each passenger.
Privacy advocates are already up in arms about the new TSA screening techniques.
"Americans now must choose between a virtual strip search and a grope," said Chris Calabrese, a legislative counsel at the ACLU.
The new screening procedures were pilot tested this summer at airports in Boston and Las Vegas. They'll be rolled out nation-wide between now and the end of the year.