This content is not available in your region

EP votes airport x-ray stripping too close for comfort

EP votes airport x-ray stripping too close for comfort
Text size Aa Aa

Possible x-ray stripping of air passengers in future has tripped a European Parliament scandal alarm. This comes in response to European Commission proposals to add body scanners to a list of security measures. The parliament objects.

The technology peels privacy right down. Trials have some travellers worried that their genitalia might show up on the Internet.

In a non-binding resolution adopted overwhelmingly in the assembly, parliament asks the Commission to carry out a full-body economic, medical and human rights assessment. Yet the resolution does not call for an outright ban on these scanners.

Socialist leader Martin Schulz said: “We need security measures, but I find body scanners absolutely unacceptable. These are machines that allow for you to be seen totally naked. This is an offence against human dignity. Using this technology does not make us safer.”

The new systems have already seen action in several US airports and have been tested in Switzerland, the Netherlands and Britain.

Supporters of the scanners say they not only ensure that concealed liquids or plastic weapons won’t slip past unnoticed, but, like step-on shoe-checkers, they reduce potential inconvenience.