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EU Bans X-Ray Scanners at Airports

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Mark Rockwell
Government Security News
November 14, 2011

The European Union’s Transport Commission adopted new rules for security scanners at European airports aimed at controlling “strict operational and technical conditions” and privacy for passengers.

The group opted to use full-body scanners and not metal detectors in the new rules that would replace the patchwork of different national operational procedures, said the EU’s Vice-President Siim Kallas, who is the commissioner responsible for transport in a statement on Nov. 14. It also adopted many of the same privacy precautions used by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, including separated scanning personnel and “opt-out” provisions.

Also, it said, in order not to risk citizens’ health and safety, only security scanners that do not use X-ray technology can be used at EU airports.

The group said EU member states have been trialing or testing security scanners, since Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up a plane flying from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day 2009 with plastic explosives hidden in his underwear. The scanners had faced wide-spread public resistance because of privacy concerns. The scanners had been implemented in a patchwork of airports, including the United Kingdom and The Netherland, as well as tested in France, Italy and some other countries. After testing two full-body scanners at its airport in Hamburg, Germany said in September it would not use them.

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This article was posted: Monday, November 14, 2011 at 9:11 am





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