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'Naked' body scanner unveiled at Hamburg Airport

The Local · 27 Sep 2010, 14:56

Published: 27 Sep 2010 14:56 GMT+02:00

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The standard security checks will remain in place at the fifth-largest airport in Germany, but passengers will have the option of undergoing the full-body scan by the new machine.

“Today is a step towards improved air security in Germany’s airports,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said as the new machine was unveiled, adding that the event was “a victory for safety in civilian air travel.”

The trial period will analyse three basic requirements: the certainty that they pose no health risks, protect individual rights and improve aviation security. Data will be analysed at the end of the six months to determine the long term success of the scanners.

The L-3 ProVision ATD scanners use millimetre-wave technology to produce outline images of bodies, with each scan lasting less than three seconds. The manufacturers claim that only places where dangerous items may be kept are scanned in detail and that the images are soon deleted.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats had announced in January that the use of the scanners would be fast tracked for introduction within 2010 following the foiled Christmas Day “underwear bomb” incident in Detroit last year.

But the airport scanners – often derisively referred to a “naked scanners” or “digital strip searchers” – have come up against fierce opposition in Europe and particularly in Germany with privacy campaigners arguing they effectively show the passenger nude.

The country’s data protection commissioner, Peter Schaar, had previously warned against deploying the scanners too quickly, saying that they failed to protect personal rights and may not be able to tell the difference between foreign objects, such as prosthetics, and weapons.

Schaar repeated these concerns to news magazine Der Spiegel on Monday, saying that more people would now be scanned “more frequently in sensitive areas.”

Story continues below…

He also expressed concerns about who would be able to see the scanned images.

Meanwhile the US-based scanner manufacturer, L-3, has been criticised because their product range also includes weapons, particularly cluster bombs.

DAPD/The Local/rm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:31 September 27, 2010 by closeenough
Not yet perhaps but this a great step forward to protect the public from passengers who harbor ambitions in that direction. Now the jhadists planning on embarking in Hamburg will have to try something else. You can't scan for a someone who has intentionally contracted a plague virus for instance. And who, of course, would put it past them?
18:05 September 27, 2010 by tallady
Body scanners ,are only temporary,these suicide bombers will soon be ingesting there bombs and cat scans will be needed.....
18:21 September 27, 2010 by William Thirteen
if only there was a scanner for idiocy we could finally get some extra leg space on these flights....
01:25 September 28, 2010 by hOU
Does this mean I can't stash my dope in my ass when I fly?
05:02 September 28, 2010 by JohnPaul44
I read recently about an Arab diplomat who was arrested in the Denver (USA) airport for sneaking into an airport bathroom and lighting up a cigarette. He was deported for "flaunting airport security." Fortunately, the heroic airport guards charged through a cloud of deadly second-hand smoke and apprehended him in time. Can you imagine what might have happened if he had succeeded in his plan to board the aircraft carrying several deadly cigarettes hidden in his shirt pocket?
09:00 September 28, 2010 by mexican.wav
They had them, or something similar, in Moscow airport

dead futuristic, felt like i was in logans run or something
09:55 September 28, 2010 by annan1063
They have these at the Tampa airport...I requested this stupidly thinking that I would not have to remove my belt or shoes...I still had to basically disrobe in front of everyone...Oh well, anything for security I guess...
10:02 September 28, 2010 by JohnPaul44
I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who said something like "Those who would give up their freedom for a little security, deserve neither freedom nor security." The same goes for those who would give up their pants!
14:30 September 28, 2010 by Deutschguy
German men have 'little' to worry about.
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