I think Seth Godin gets to the heart of things around the TSA and the new scanners:
Smart marketers know how to pivot. I think it’s time to do that. Start marketing the idea that flying is safe, like driving, but it’s not perfect, like driving. If someone is crazy enough to hurt themselves or spend their life in jail, we’re not going to stop them, and even if we did, they’d just cause havoc somewhere else. So instead of spending billions of dollars a year in time and money pretending, let’s just get back to work.
The current model doesn’t scale.
2 thoughts on “It’s time to rethink the TSA”
As I see it, the TSA has been marketing the idea that flying is safe for quite a while now. Here’s how: Initially, people think flying is pretty safe.
Then somebody puts a bomb in his shoe. This makes the public afraid of shoes, so the TSA starts X-raying everybody’s shoes. Now we feel safe again!
Then somebody carries explosive liquids. This makes the public afraid of liquids, so the TSA starts checking for liquids. Now we feel safe again!
Then somebody puts explosives in his underwear. This makes the public afraid of underwear, so the TSA starts using body scanners. Now we feel safe again, don’t we?
Like many marketing strategies, this one has a logical fallacy: Weapons don’t hijack airplanes, terrorists do. So this strategy prevents ordinary people from carrying pocket knives, but allows unarmed al qaeda martial artists on board.
The latest Newsweek contains an opinion piece by Israeli security consultant Rafi Ron. He starts out saying pretty much what I said above. He then recommends more emphasis on personal interaction and less on detection technology. See http://www.newsweek.com/2010/11/27/my-turn-technology-alone-will-not-end-terrorism.html