'Peep show' airport scanners could be sold

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'Peep show' airport scanners could be sold
Peep show at the airport? Not unheard of in Germany. Photo: DPA

In October, the German government poured cold water on a European Commission plan to allow controversial ‘naked’ scanners to increase security at airports. Now the EU has six of the €120,000-machines that it may be trying to sell, news magazine Der Spiegel reported on Tuesday.


The high-tech backscatter x-ray security scanners, which have been called a “state-sponsored peep show,” were criticised as an invasion of privacy and dignity. Security workers can see directly through the clothing of a potential airline passenger with the scanners.

In a budget control committee meeting, General Secretary of the EU parliament Harald Römer suggested the machines be sold, but so far there have been no bidders, Der Spiegel reported.

Despite its initial reluctance for the new technology, the German government sparked renewed howls of protests in December when it said it would go ahead with tests on the scanners, arguing they did not mean a final decision had already been reached or that the devices would be set up at German airports.

The scanners are already being used at EU airports in Amsterdam and London, as well as in Zürich, Switzerland, which is not part of the European Union.


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