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How To Opt Out Of Facial Photos And 5G Wireless Radiation Screening At The Airport
Updated: November 2023
You can still protect(some of) your privacy by saying no thank you to Facial scanning machines that take your picture at the Airport.
Just Opt Out of the Facial Recognition photo ops.
You can still protect your body from the 5G millimeter wave EMF radiation x ray machines.
Just Opt Out of going through the Big X-Ray Scanner.
Both of these are TSA processes and are designed to help keep us safer by screening all passengers more quickly and more thoroughly. The idea from The Transportation Service Authority is to make sure everyone is who they say they are and insure that no one tries to bring potentially dangerous chemicals or weapons on board or into the airport gate area.
YOUR SAFETY AND PRIVACY ARE IMPORTANT! TECH WELLNESS WANTS YOU TO KNOW THAT YOU CAN SAY NO TO PHOTOS AND EMF SCREENING!
Last year TSA introduced the CAT-2 machine to many airports around the country.
This machine works with the older CAT or Credential Authentication Technology machine that scans your passport or Drivers license or other ID to:
- confirm identity
- confirm your address
- match your travel details
- verify your flight and gate
PLUS WITH THE CAT-2
- Take your picture real-time
- Compare that real-time photo to the one on your ID via biometric or AI
This is supposed to be only at the TSA checkpoint and they "Offer" it even if you already have Global Entry or TSA-Pre.
HOW TO OPT OUT OF HAVING YOUR PHOTO TAKEN AT THE AIRPORT
Over the holidays American Airlines had a gate attendant take photos of everyone boarding while they held up their ID next to their faces! Of course I said no thank you and even told the AA employee that we didn't have to do this. She said she knew I didn't have to and that this taking my photo was optional and she said she had announced it. I didn't hear the announcement and the way everyone was standing in line and happily smiling for a photo while holding their passport to their face- I don't think my fellow passengers heard it either.
All the TSA signs and press releases tout this as a great and easy way to verify your identity without having to see your boarding pass. Hmmm. But many privacy organizations and me btw, just don't like the idea of one more photo being taken and possibly stored and perhaps even used for AI identification purposes in the future.
Coming back in to the via Dallas, I said "I would rather not have my photo taken." to an Immigration Officer who laughed and said, "Well I'm still going to look at your ID." I told him that was fine and asked if many other opted out and he said I was the only one that week.
The TSA says: "Travelers who do not wish to participate in the facial matching process can opt out in favor of an alternative identity verification process."
Here's how to say NO Photo Please:
- When you see anyone either hold up a camera or You see the Camera Station- avoid standing directly in front of it
- Tell the Gate Agent, the Immigration Officer or the TSA Screening Agent: "I'm going to Opt Out of having my picture taken."
- Show them Your Photo ID
- Show them Your Boarding Pass
That's all there is to it.
Lawmakers say Facial Recognition should be illegal
There's a move a foot to BAN Facial Recognition. So that's a really good clue that you should just say no and opt out of getting your picture taken at the Airport! Senator Roger Marshal is one of the senator's who introduced the bill he told NextGov, “I am concerned that we have no clue where this data is going, and thousands of Americans every day are not aware of their option to decline to have their photo taken by a government agency every time they go to the airport,” Marshall said in a statement. “The potential for these images to be used to violate American’s civil liberties is greatly concerning.”
Opting Out of the TSA Scanners isn't quite as simple. They will always say YES- they have to actually, but you will have to wait for an agent to perform a pat down and most likely listen to the spiel on how safe the machines are.
But at Tech Wellness we realize that although we're surrounded by wireless signals practically everywhere we go these days, they can be really excessive in airports and airplanes. Avoid exposure whenever you can!
OPT Out of Exposing Your Body To Even More EMF When You Travel.
Everything that has an electrical component will emanate electromagnetic fields or EMF. Yes, as you've probably heard, some EMF does occur naturally in and around the earth. There are the magnetic fields in the earths core and we have Electrical Fields from activity in the atmosphere, like lightning and thunderstorms.
But, the Earths natural fields are quite different because they don't oscillate or spin which is how we determine the frequency of un-natural electromagnetic fields.
- Magnetic Fields- from electricity - Found in wired and wireless electronics
- Electric Fields- from electricity. Found in Cords
- Radio Frequency or RF Fields- Come From All Wireless Antennae. WiFi, BlueTooth, Cell Signal
- Dirty electricity- a polluted type of EMF that happens when wireless is carried on a wired element. Found in power outlets and other electrical items
Our Tri-Field Meter Can Measure And Detect All Types OF EMF!
Recently, I took my trusty meters to JFK to do a little research of my own and see where high frequency EMF radiation hotspots can be found. Watch the video below that shows you the various readings of different types of EMF in the airport.
We're surrounded by wireless signals practically everywhere we go these days, but they can be really excessive in airports and airplanes.
OPT OUT of EMF Exposure
At the security line, we are always required to go through a screening process. This is for our own safety during travel, but ironically X-Rays increase our danger by exposing us to unnecessary radiation. You'll see in from the chart below how the amount of ionizing radiation we're exposed to adds up.
That Airport Scanner as most call what amounts to an X-Ray machine uses the 5G Millimeter Wave.
HOW TO OPT OUT OF GOING THROUGH THE SECURITY SCANNER
Here's how to Opt Out of going through the MMWave Security Scanner:
1. Go to the Security Screening Line
2. You'll still need to show your I.D. and Boarding Pass and follow whatever rules the TSA has in effect. Currently, you're required to
- Remove Shoes and Jackets
- Dispose of All Liquids
- Place all Computers, phones, jackets, shoes in a bin to send through the x ray scanning machines.
3. If you're Opting Out of Going Through The Scanner- you don't have to remove your jewelry.
4. Once you place all items in the bin and put in on the conveyer belt, walk up to the TSA agent standing near the MMwave scanning machine and say "I'm Opting Out". Some TSA agent will confirm and say, "You want a pat down? or "You don't want to go through the Scanner?" Just say YES.
They may tell you to wait OR they will ask you to come on through at which point you'll go with the TSA Agent.
IMPORTANT BONUS: Every once in awhile one of the original Metal Detectors will be open and for some reason, BEFORE I ASK TO OPT OUT, a TSA agent will direct me through the Metal Detector. It's a an option I will Always gladly take. Be Aware however, that IF you say you want to Opt Out, you will Not have the option of the metal detector.
What Happens When You OPT OUT at Airport Security:
Here's what to expect when you say yes to opting out:
1. The TSA Agent will ask you to follow them.
2. Next, they'll ask you to identify the bin with your belongings and they will pick it up and take it with them. Don't try and touch your stuff until the pat down is complete.
3. Next they will let you know that there will be a pat down and ask you if you want a private room. I typically say no to the private room, just to make it quicker, but if you don't like the idea of being patted down in public, say yes to the private room option.
4. As of November 2022, the pat down has become much more "invasive" The TSA will let you know the details:
- they will use the back of their hand on the "sensitive" areas which are under the breasts.
- they will "pat your legs up to the point where your legs meet your groin" - this is new. They used to go just to the top of your leg
- they will go to your waist band and move their hands on the inside - about an inch or so at the waist band.
TSA-Pre Passengers are Automatically Opted Out of the 5G Scanner!
I recently went through the TSA Pre screening so I could let my community know what the process was like.
- After I made an appointment, the certification was just 10 minutes.
- I brought my passport and filled out my name and address and email.
- TSA took my photo and thumbprint
- 2 weeks later I got an email with my TSA-Pre number
Tip 1: I have opted out of Airport Scanners for screening for almost a decade now. I always have such interesting conversations with those around me about the EMF from the Airport Scanners for screening in the security line. You can ask to have a pat-down in a private room, or if you're like me, and it's not that big of a deal, you can get your personal screening in public to save time. Also, opting out means you get to skip the line.
Sometimes, I find I get through security faster when I don't have to endure the EMF exposure from the Millimeter Wave Airport Scanning Machine!
The EPA, our US Environmental Protection Agency has published an advisory regarding EMF and how the Millimeter Scanner works,
Radiation and Airport Security Scanning- an excerpt from the EPA
"Millimeter wave machines use non-ionizing radiofrequency waves to detect threats. The machine bounces the waves off the body and back to the machine. Millimeter wave scanners emit far less energy than a cell phone."
Less energy? Uh Okay. But unfortunately, very unfortunately actually, the problem with the Scanners as I see it, is that they operate on a way way higher frequency then a cell phone.
Is the mmWave More Dangerous Than Cell Phone Waves? Only Time and More Studies Will Tell
Our cellphones operate in Radio Frequency's that are Much Lower on the Electromagnetic Radiation Spectrum than Airport Scanner's Millimeter Wave.
You can check the Specs for your particular Cellphone. If I look up the Specification for my Apple11, I see that it uses waves on the spectrum from 850 up to 2100 MHZ. Cellphones have used these lower ranges for decades.
The Airport Scanners made by Pro Vision use the 24 GHZ to the 30 GHZ range
This chart is a nice visual of the dramatic difference in the EMF of Cellphones compared to Airport Scanners
We have 1,000's of Excellent Peer Reviewed Studies connecting Cellphone Exposure to biological effects. We have articles and blogs right here on Techwellness.com that talk about health issues from infertility to cancer to anxiety and headaches--all linked to cellphone EMF exposure.
What we don't have, are many studies on the effects of the Millimeter Wave on our bodies- and that's the main reason I opt out of the Scanners.
The problem with the EPA'S comparison of the power of the cellphone vs the power of the Scanner- is that it doesn't take into account the TYPE of RF wave.
Even the National Academies of Science in their review of Airport Scanners and safety, notes that the only EMF exposure effect they took into account were HEATING EFFECTS as they discussed whether of not Airline Scanners were "safe."
I don't get a lot of reassurance when I read this:
"Aside from thermal interactions and the so-called “microwave heating effect,” little is known about millimeter wave interactions with biological systems. . . . .Whilst it is in principle impossible to disprove
the possible existence of non-thermal interactions, the plausibility of various non-thermal mechanisms that have been proposed is very low.”
But the EPA does conclude by telling us we can absolutely choose to opt out if we're concerned about radiation from the Airport TSA Scanners:
In the WHAT TO DO section of the EPA report, they say,
"The risk of health effects from backscatter x-ray systems and millimeter wave machines is very, very low. However, if you are worried about x-ray or millimeter wave screening, you are not required to walk through these machines. You can ask for a pat-down search instead."
Yes, like the EPA says, You're not required to go through "these machines"- Opt Out and ask for a pat-down instead!
If by chance, you happen to get in a security line that has the old fashioned walk through Metal Detectors, Go For It!
The scanners use the Millimeter wave. The metal detectors use low frequency magnetic and magnetic fields- Not radio Frequency EMF- plus you’re not required to stand in the fields for several seconds- If I’m allowed to go through one of those- as they sometimes open them for small children and the elderly Or to alleviate a long line- I’ll gladly Screen that way😊
Next, in my travels, I measure EMF at the Gate. Good News, Low RF-Radiation.Just passed security is where we'd expect to be completely surrounded by RF Radiation, with wireless cameras, the x-ray screening machines and folks accessing airport WiFi, could all add up. But, good news, as you'll see in the video!
I use only "calibrated" meters to measure RF Radiation See detail here
Third Stop: Airport Charging Station Radiation Galore
I was shocked by the high reading of RF Radiation at the charging stations! The emissions are way too high, especially when you take into account the magnetic EMFs and the RF radiation combined. If you're getting consistent exposure at a significant level, magnetic energy can be an EMF to be concerned about. Now, what's a significant level? Well, the World Health Organization published a paper (link in research)noting two studies that showed children who had exposures of 3. to 4. on a meter like the one I use in my video had been twice as likely to get childhood leukemia. The meter read just about 2 at the charging station and for me, that's too much exposure for a consistent period of time. Now add that to the RF radiation that's being measured by the other meter, and you have a good reason to:
Tip 2: Make sure your devices are fully charged before you travel. If you have a long journey, bring a portable charger or turn your phone on low battery mode to conserve it. If you must charge your device, step away from the charging station.
Fourth Stop: EMF check Boarding the AirplaneThere are so many sources of EMF that we don’t even see when we travel on a plane. Also, electrical engineers are allowed to change the voltage on a plane! EMF sources with high voltage = strong electric fields that can enter your body! EMF on a plane can be emitted by:
- Jet Engines
- Cockpit computers
- Electrical wiring and sensors
- Communication equipment
- Static electricity in fuselage
Most importantly, the second you step into an airplane, you are essentially stepping into a metal box. This magnifies the effects of RF radiation; a concept called the Faraday cage effect where radiation is, “trapped in a metal enclosure which exacerbates the effects of this radiation.” In my video, you can see how the radiation levels change from my time on the ground to in the air. When you’re waiting for the plane to take off, the combination of the cell phones plus the metal intensification creates high levels of RF radiation between 3 and 6 micro-watts per centimeter squared. It makes sense that the readings are so high--think about how many people are on their devices while waiting for their flight to take off!
Tip 3: Don’t be in a hurry to get on the plane. Less time spent on the plane = less time trapped with EMF/RF radiation exposure! Also, the windows are a bit of a break in the planes "metal cage" and I discovered the reading was a bit lower--so I'm choosing a window seat from now on.
Fifth Stop: RF while Flying . . .or just about to Fly
Then, just prior to taking off, came "the announcement" and off went all the devices. AHH! Airplane mode! The RF radiation plummeted down to .3 to .1... the least amount of RF exposure I've experienced on the entire trip. BUT NOW, many airplanes have WiFi available on board. WiFi Radiation can penetrate anything that stands in its path and it’s super difficult to get away from. A safer distance from the actual WiFi is a minimum of 5'. But, the RF is still radiating from the person using their device to access the WiFi and the WiFi itself. Both WiFi and device are sending/receiving signal. That means the overall ambient level of RF radiation is increasing, yet the closer you get to someone just using the WiFi from their device, the closer you are to the radiation yourself.
Please Sir, Will You Be So Kind To Just Not...
Yeah, it was my husband so it was chill. But the video shows a great demo of what happens to your personal space when the guy next to you pulls out his laptop en route and accesses that WiFi. You know, this reminds me a lot of second-hand smoking. I'm thinking "second-hand RF Radiation" is really a thing. Secondhand happens when you can't get away from the RF radiation that a fellow human is responsible for. In this case, that's the people close by in tight quarters, on their cellphones, laptops or tablets. WiFi on planes has brought to light another issue--privacy! Go-Go Wireless, a common in-flight service, is not a secure provider and can be easily hacked.
Tip 4: Avoid using WiFi on a plane. Also, try to choose planes without WiFi, about 64% are still WiFi free. Every time you book a flight, it will list whether or not a plane has WiFi In order to find WiFi free flights, I would suggest calling the airline to book your flight so they can help identify a flight without WiFi.
And--even if the plane does have WiFi--it's best for you and those around you, to leave disable WiFi on your device(bluetooth too) and use your computer on airplane mode.
If you're traveling with little ones, or if you just love playing games, please check out our wonderful list of WiFi-free games you can download prior to boarding and enjoy in flight!
Then There's That Cosmic Stuff
When you’re in the air, another concern is the exposure from cosmic rays. Cosmic rays come from stars, including our sun, and constantly pass through us and around us. From the ground, cosmic rays are not dangerous but at higher altitudes, like when you’re in a plane, these small exposures become much greater. Scientists and medical experts have calculated "safe" annual exposure levels in this chart. Thus, always at Tech Wellness, we recommend the mindful approach to any kind of EMF exposure. It's best to limit as much as you can, whenever you can, which leads us to our final tip:
Tip 5: Put your devices away! Take the time on a travel day to read a good book or magazine article, talk to the person sitting next to you, draw or write in a sketchbook, or take a beauty-rest before your journey begins!
And Remember- you'll probably feel better for you're entire excursion if you avoid wireless EMF. or "INFORMATION CARRYING RADIO WAVES."(ICRWs)
Basically, when EMFs carry information to and from our digital devices, the natural waves are changed--and THAT changes the way our bodies react to them.
Yep, just like climate change, we're pretty much doing this to ourselves. There are literally thousands of peer-reviewed studies over three decades that have proven that there is a biological impact from these ICRW's. Most credible scientists, (those who aren't being paid by the cellular industry) think it isn't even a question.
But Not Every Body Reacts The Same Way to EMFs. Some People Never Notice Them. But More And More, People Are Reporting A Variety of Symptoms Including These:
- insomnia and sleep issues
- headaches and head pain
- tinnitus or ringing in the ears
- lethargy and extreme tiredness
- memory, a fog, cognitive issues
- burning, tingling, numbness
- cardiac symptoms and heart palpitations
- Joint pain
- onset of Electromagnetic Sensitivity or ES or EHS
- pressure, heat
- anxiety, irritability
- problems with eyes or eyesight
- chest pain
- rashes, eczema, skin issues
- muscle spasms
- digestive or bowel problems
- cramps and twitches, neuropathy
- nose bleeds
- ear problems, worsening hearing
- depression, loss of motivation
- endocrine problems and thyroid problems
- increased rate of infections or colds
- allergies, food sensitivity
- intensity of electromagnetic sensitivity
- sinus problems
- lump in throat or throat problems
- weight loss or loss of appetite
- swollen face
- bladder infections, strains
- flu like symptoms
- weight gain, inability to talk
- loss of motor skills
- loss of feeling from the waist down
These are symptoms of people exposed to smart meter EMF, which is the same EMF radiation that comes from all wireless devices. I came across this report by Ronald Powell, Ph.D and reached out to him and he was kind enough to share his up to date research, “Symptoms After Exposure to Smart Meter Radiation.” We have the report recap as well as the percentage of people who reported the amazing, critical and varied symptoms listed above.
Yes, I know we're talking about very scary associations. However, please be assured, fear mongering or promoting fear in any way is just not what we're about. In fact, we believe there are easy and effective things you can do to decrease exposure levels. We're not suggesting totally trashing all your wireless technology-just yet.
Dr. Powell is a retired career U.S. Government scientist.He holds a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Harvard. During the Government career, he worked for the President, the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. When it comes to EMF Radiation effects, he’s an incredible wealth of information, as well as someone we trust and honor for his EMF education work.
The full health disclosure that everyone should be aware of is that there is growing evidence about how exposure to wireless EMF radiation is causing more than just symptoms. There's no doubt. RF or EMF radiation has biological effects. The research Section of our site lists links to 100's of studies.
How Big A Deal Is EMF Radiation Exposure?
If simply hearing that a prominent Swedish scientist announced that we are now exposed to 1 Quintillion times (that's 18 zeros) more Radio Frequency or RF energy than we were 10 years ago makes you say "I need to know How to reduce some of that wireless energy around me."
Then, please go directly to The Guide. But if you're skeptical and want more information, research and background we invite you to read on.
Wireless Energy, RF Radiation, Cellphone Energy, EMF, EMR, Radio Frequency, Electromagnetic Fields
There's a whole lot of ways it's described, but all the above are referring to Electromagnetic Energy Fields or EMF.
Let's begin by being mindful. Looking for Brief EMF Basics? Go Here
Happy travels, friends!