Super Bowl XLVI Gets Full-Body Scanners

    February 2, 2012

Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis looks to be the most secure yet. Security preparations have been underway for some time now, and look to be nearly ready. Some of the measure in place include a text message number provided by the NFL so game-goers can report suspicious or inappropriate activity, a network of security cameras throughout the stadium, and a much more intense screening process for people trying to get into the game.

That last detail is causing a bit of controversy, it seems. In addition to heavily restricting what people can bring into the stadium with them, security personnel have also installed full-body scanners at entrances to the stadium. Matt Touchette, a reporter for WPRI in Indianapolis, wrote a brief blog post about his experience of some of the preparations being made in the city and the stadium for Sunday’s big game. Tucked away in that post is the fact that getting into the stadium required going “through intense security which included full body scanners.”

These scanners have created considerable controversy over their use at airports. In addition to constitutional and privacy concerns, there have also been a concerns about the health risks posed by the devices. The scanners use backscatter x-ray technology to look through the clothes of people they scan. While potentially useful for discovering certain kinds of contraband material, x-rays are ionizing (i.e., cancer-causing) radiation. Unlike x-ray machines in medical facilities, though, those used by the TSA are not under the supervision of the FDA.

What do you think? Would full body scanners keep you from going to the Super Bowl if you had tickets? Sound off in the comments.