European Union (EU) lawmakers (EU-MPs) have delayed the installation of full body scanners or millimeter wave scanners at European Airports which takes an X-ray picture to view “under the clothes” outline image of the person, an alternative to pat down search. EU MPs passed a resolution to conduct further study on privacy and health implication of the technology.
The device has already been installed in some of the airports in US and couple of months back, I blogged up my experience with one at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport. Do you think you will comfortable with the someone looking at an image like the one on the right?
Privacy Concerns from Wikipedia Article
Privacy advocates are concerned about the use of this technology because it allows screeners to see airport passengers without clothing.
Currently the technology does not mask any part of the bodies of the people who are being scanned. Proposed remedies for privacy concerns include only scanning people who are detected to be carrying contraband, or developing technology to mask genitals and other “private parts.” At least one government official has stated this technology is already in place, leading some to suggest that there are no privacy issues for regular passengers. In some locations, travelers have the choice between the body scan or a traditional “pat down.”
Note that in the specific case of the TSA, they have promised to separate the people viewing the private images from the people being scanned in order to retain some privacy. This policy seems to have been recently neglected, however, when the TSA set up scanning stations in public areas of the airports of Denver and Minneapolis during the 2008 Republican and Democratic National Conventions.
From CNN International
The European Parliament voted 361 to 16 with 18 abstentions Thursday in
favor of a resolution demanding EU authorities carry out a full study
of the privacy and health implications of the new technology.
The new systems allow guards to see an outline of passengers’ bodies
beneath their clothes. Supporters say it makes it easier to detect
concealed objects such as liquids or plastic weapons not picked up by
traditional metal detectors.