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article imageNew airport security scanners raise concerns

By Brian Lidster     Oct 30, 2009 in Travel
Canada’s privacy watchdog has given the go ahead to a new type of airport security that will be able to see through the clothes of travelers.
The new systems, which hasve been tested at the Kelowna Airport in British Columbia, produces a three-dimensional rendering of a person’s naked body. The scanners have also been used in city airports in Amsterdam, Moscow and Phoenix.
The technology is being implemented with the hopes of tracking down passengers carrying plastic explosives and other prohibited items beneath their clothing.
According to a report on the Toronto Star, only passengers that have been singled out for additional testing would be subjected to the screening and would have the option of being patted down instead.
The Canadian privacy watchdog is justifying their position by saying the security personnel would be in a separate room while viewing the image and would never come in contact with the person being screened.
These precautions are being taken mainly because the new technology is so comprehensive it has the ability to produce a clear outline of the genitals.
"It is a very touchy issue, and we have addressed it with exactly that level of care," said Chantal Bernier from a quote obtained from the Canadian Press.
By allowing passengers the option of a pat down, Brenier, the assistant federal privacy commissioner in Canada, hopes to reduces the "sense of invasion".
At least one airport though isn’t convinced on the technology because of who would be using it.
Concerns are being raised over whether or not children should be subjected to this type of screening.
According to Skynews and the BBC, the Manchester Airport has said that due to the The Protection of Children Act 1978 and the Sexual Offences Act 2003 “no under-18 will be allowed to use the device unless it can clarify the law on indecent images of children.”
"We believe it is legal,” said Russell Craig, the Manchester Airport's head of external communications.
“But we won't allow any under-18s through it if that's not the case," he continued in an interview with Skynews.
The New York Times is reporting though that it will be very soon when all airports make it clear that “children will be not be subjected to a new X-ray body scanner which produces “naked” images of flight passengers.”
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