Of those questioned, 74 percent said airports should use the controversial machines because they provide a detailed check for hidden weapons and explosives and reduce the need for physical searches. Just 20 percent said the machines should not be used because they see through a passenger’s clothing and thus constitute an invasion of privacy.
Racial and ethnic profiling of passengers at airports received less support, with just over half (51 percent) saying added security checks for passengers from certain ethnic or racial groups is justified. Thirty-eight percent said such profiling was not justified. Views on racial and ethnic profiling have changed little since a previous CBS News poll in 2006.
President Obama’s response to the attempt on Northwest flight 253 won the support of more than half the public, but those views were highly partisan.
Fifty-seven percent of the Americans questioned by CBS said they approved of the way the Obama administration responded to the attempted terrorist attack, while only 29 percent said they disapproved. The ratings are better than recent measures of President Obama’s overall approval.
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