Thursday, June 17, 2010
Passengers going through controversial full-body scanners at one of Britain’s busiest airports will no longer automatically have their ‘naked’ images seen by security staff.
New software will scan for hidden weapons or explosives, and only images flagged up as suspicious will be checked by operators.
At the moment all passengers passing through the scanners at Manchester Airport have their pictures examined.
Civil rights groups have raised legal and privacy concerns about the scanners, which have been introduced at Manchester and Heathrow airports following the failed transatlantic plane bomb attack last Christmas.
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Campaigners say the scanners, which act like a mini radar device ‘seeing’ beneath ordinary clothing, are an invasion of privacy and liken them to a ‘virtual strip search’.
Manufacturer Rapiscan hopes the new development will allay any fears over privacy and are aiming for Manchester to be the first to test the upgrade by the end of the year.
Rapiscan’s Ian Armitage said: ‘The system will use advanced software to determine if there is a potential threat. If the passenger is carrying a threat then the image will be sent to an operator to view and they will then make a decision on whether they can travel.’
This article was posted: Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 8:20 am