EU parliament sets conditions for airport body scanners
Thursday 07 July 2011
The European parliament backed Wednesday the deployment of body scanners at airports, but on condition that travelers have the right to refuse to walk through the controversial machines.
European lawmakers gave their conditional support in a show of raised hands a day before the European Commission decides whether to authorise states in the 27-nation European Union to use body scanners at airport security checkpoints.
The parliament has the power to overturn the decision within three months.
The use of scanners caused an uproar in the United States last year because they produce a graphic image of a person's body, giving rise to the name "naked scanner."
Euro MPs do not oppose body scanners and agree they can enhance security, but they say passengers should have the right to refuse to walk through the machines and opt for a hand search instead.
Worried about embarrassing intrusion into people's privacy, the parliament said the scanners should only produce images of "stick figures" and that any data must be immediately destroyed.
Concerned about the potential health risks, lawmakers called for a ban on the use of X-ray scanners that use ionising radiation.
The United States stepped up the deployment of body scanners at airports after a Nigerian man was accused of trying to ignite explosives concealed in his underwear during a Christmas day flight from Amsterdam to Detroit in 2009.
Washington then urged the EU to follow suit but Europeans decided to first study their impact on health and privacy.
Some EU states, including Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Finland have tested body scanners.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 JK Rowling horrified by Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis's raunchy photoshoot
- 2 As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
- 3 Georgia Army veteran arrested for breaking window to save dog has charges dropped
- 4 New Zealand 'the best country to work as a prostitute', says sex worker advocacy group
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Labour leadership: Battle lines are drawn as members battle over party's ideology at first hustings of the contest
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...
Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...
£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...