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'Naked' body scanners a failure, police union says

The Local · 1 Aug 2011, 14:04

Published: 01 Aug 2011 14:04 GMT+02:00

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The head of the Gewerkschaft der Polizei (GdP) police union, Bernhard Witthaut, told the daily Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung on Monday that the two full body scanners had proved a failure.

“The trial in Hamburg has shown that body scanners aren’t suited right now for widespread deployment,” he said.

The Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported on Sunday that the scanners were sounding alerts 70 percent of the time, according to an internal report. The security devices, which critics refer to as “naked scanners,” are controversial because they give a clear impression of the person’s body under their clothing, raising privacy concerns.

Witthaut said the security levels at German airports had not been improved by such measures. The test run at Hamburg had also demonstrated that the body scanners slowed down rather than sped up passenger screening because of the high rate of false alarms.

Witthaut called on the federal government to ensure there were enough adequately trained federal police officers to provide airport security.

But a spokesman for the Interior Ministry denied that the scanners had been a failure, saying that the trial had ended only this weekend and that the results needed to be analysed.

According to the report cited by Welt am Sonntag, the scanners had trouble with multiple-layered clothing, with zippers and with metal buttons and studs. They were also over-sensitive to movement.

Story continues below…

Nearly 800,000 passengers have voluntarily passed through the scanners since they were introduced at Hamburg airport in September last year. The results of the tests will be taken account along with legal, political and financial considerations in determining whether the scanners will be used more widely.

The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:53 August 1, 2011 by elboertjie
These devices causes cancer and infertility, why would anyone voluntarily walk through them?

That is why the makers of these devices do not release figures on how potent they are.
15:06 August 1, 2011 by marimay
Yeah, I am so not walking through one of those.
15:09 August 1, 2011 by lucksi
There is hope for us yet.
15:18 August 1, 2011 by catjones
Any new technology should be perfect and perfectly calibrated and operated by perfectly trained personnel. That way I can live in a perfect world.
15:43 August 1, 2011 by freechoice
800,000 passengers? largest collection of smut by some peverts who invented this piece of crap! crazy anti terror experts!
15:47 August 1, 2011 by Zlik
Public safety pales in comparison to Cash made selling these blank blank approved piece of junks.
22:35 August 1, 2011 by Dizz
@marimay: the problem is that when fully implemented (not on test basis as in Hamburg) you will be given a choice between getting scanned, shuddering once and getting it over with (your gonads be damned) or submitting to heavy-handed, deeply intrusive physical groping that could last for many minutes. Even children aren't spared, look at all the videos of distraught, upset crying children being felt-up by America's TSA.

People need to draw a line somewhere this side of insanity and not keep stepping back each time a government agency treads a little further on their civil liberties and basic rights in the name of paranoia and this is the true victory of terrorists. They do manage to disrupt our way of life, they do it by scaring us into doing it to ourselves.

There's a Stephen King novel I think about something like this, about a woman who was afraid of voodoo and got so paranoid she would collect all her own excrement and nail clippings etc etc and keep them in her bedroom to keep anyone from using them in a voodoo spell against her, effectively driving herself mad and to an early death all by her own self!
22:58 August 1, 2011 by jbaker
Stay away from the public airports and large airlines. Buy your own small plane and defer the cost with several other people. Small airports do not have these pervert scanners or people that like to touch others genitals.

If you have to use the large airlines try to find a smaller airport that does not have these scanners.

It's time to stop the fear mongers that tell us terrorist's are always around the corner. People that are in Fear can be easily controlled. Don't be one of these - Fight Back!
17:59 August 5, 2011 by Paralegal123
I think the practice of using these body scanners is highly offensive and should not be continued. There are traditional methods that have worked reasonably well, and which do not completely violate a person's diignity and sense of privacy. Admittedly, terrorists have managed to get through the scanner systems; however, airline security has in the past been lax in not fully implementing security procedures.

I personally would not volunteer to be scanned, because I do not want my naked body viewed by security people; my sense of dignity and privacy would be violated, and I do not appreciate such inappropriate actions by security authorities including police.

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