As We See It

Worried about your privacy? Protest with pasties

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A gag gift. A political statement. A collector’s item. Or possibly ... a good idea? Look at Flying Pasties as a logical response to the frustration millions of airplane passengers feel at the ever-increasing security measures they must endure, the most controversial being full-body scanners that capture images of your naked body—a process some have termed “digital strip searches.”

Flying Pasties are just what the name implies—rubber “inserts” (no, they’re not stickers) designed to cover your private parts so as to conceal them from scanners. Las Vegan Mike Francis, the spokesman for Flying Pasties (the Las Vegas-based inventor remains media-shy, deferring all questions to Francis), says the response to the product has been phenomenal, leading to unanticipated feedback. “We’re all for security, but the government and Transportation Safety Authority have just gone too far,” Francis says. “Beautiful women, models, are telling us stories about ‘extra’ screenings. And now we’re hearing about federal marshals saving more than 35,000 images from a courthouse scanner in Florida.”

While some among us surely desire to protect our privacy, it remains in question if Flying Pasties actually help do that. Francis himself hasn’t yet tried the product, but says that he will on his next flight. “And if they ask me what I have on, I’m going to pull them out and say, ‘I don’t think you should see my private parts.’ We realize going through security isn’t a fun process, but it certainly can be dignified.”

Which is not to say the company doesn’t plan on having a bit of fun with the product. “We’re already working on an elongated pastie for guys,” Francis says.

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Ken Miller is Las Vegas Magazine's managing editor, having previously served as associate editor at Las Vegas Weekly, assistant features ...

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