For sale, at half price: six body scanners. The European Parliament has been trying to get rid of them since January. It formally disapproved of deploying similar security tools in airports as an EU-wide measure last year. But at the time the members did not know they had a bunch of the things in their own basement.
The machines have been up for tender [the bidding is now closed], the asking minimum 65,000 euros a piece. They have never been used, but the technology is outdated. The Parliament got them in 2005, in the post-2001 climate of global security anxiety.
EU rules on using such close-up-and-personal devices are expected to be reviewed this year.
According to Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert in the Parliament’s Liberal group: “We all said that we are not against the body scanners as such but we need to set the criteria of how to use the body scanners and to safeguard the privacy of the passengers. Obviously, the same will apply to a body scanner that will be run in the European Parliament itself, so it was a great surprise when we found out that the Parliament itself has purchased a number of body scanners.”
Several EU states have gone the way of the scanner, after the foiled Christmas attack on a flight into Detroit by a man whose inflammable material had not been detected. Official security measures did not get him; he was overpowered by fellow passengers.