Airports Introducing Body Scan Technology This Week
Passengers boarding commercial airliners at Heathrow and
Manchester airports who refuse to submit to a full-body scan will
not be allowed to get on the airplanes following deployment of the
technology at those two airports Monday. Civil liberty and privacy
groups have criticized the scanners since their proposal as being
an invasion of privacy.
The London Daily Mail reports that Transport Secretary Lord
Adonis said "In the immediate future, only a small proportion of
airline passengers will be selected for scanning. If a passenger is
selected for scanning and declines, they will not be permitted to
fly." Officials said the restriction of scanning those under 18
years of age had also been removed.
The stepped-up implementation of the scanners follows the
attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas day.
The person accused of attempting to bring down the airliner boarded
a plane bound for Detroit in Amsterdam.
The scanners have been under evaluation at Manchesters' terminal
two for some time, and that will be where they are first being used
under the new rules. They are expected to be installed in terminals
one and three in the near future. BAA, which operates Heathrow
airport, would not tell the paper how many scanners are in use, or
where they will be deployed in the airport.
Airport officials continue to say that the scanners do not
invade privacy, that the machine operator never sees the image, and
that the images can not be stored or transmitted, though a recent report indicates there is a setting on
the machines that can allow the storage and transmittal of the