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Body scanners present privacy, health risks

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Friday, February 12th, 2010

Full body scanners which the government has decided to roll-out to Australian airports are pose privacy and health risks, the chair of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties has said.

Following in the footsteps of the US, the UK, The Netherlands and Canada, the Federal Government has announced that it will spend $28 million on full body scanners to be introduced at eight Australian airports next year.

The scanners, which look through a passenger’s clothes and create a three-dimensional image of their body to detect any concealed weapons or explosives, will be placed at screening points servicing international travellers.

Not only have there been there concerns that airport security staff will view naked images of people, including children, there has also been the matter of images being posted on the internet either by computer hackers or security staff.

There have also been concerns about health risks posed by the machines, particularly for frequent fliers or pregnant women, and the head of the Czech nuclear watchdog has stated that scanners that use X-rays (not all scanners do) are “too risky” because the exposure to radiation could cause cancer.

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This article was posted: Friday, February 12, 2010 at 4:51 am

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