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Body scanners at Birmingham by end of February

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Page last updated: 19th Feb 2010 - 03:28 PM

Birmingham Airport is next in line to receive the new ‘naked’ scanners that have been causing such a fuss in the media recently. Reports state that the airport will see the new scanners arrive by the end of the month, and this is already causing controversy.

The scanners are electromagnetic and can see beneath a person’s clothes to show if they are carrying any weapons or bombs. It sounds like a sensible solution, and it has been in the news a lot lately following the failed Detroit bomb attempt on Christmas Day. Calls for extra security measures following the event saw the scanners become the most obvious choice to stop such an atrocity occurring in the future.

The controversy has been increased even more by the fact that the government has now decided that under 18s should also be scanned, whereas before this was not allowed due to child protection issues.

Heathrow and Manchester airports already have the scanners in use, and Birmingham is now next in line to follow suit. Airport security services have said that there is nothing to worry about because the image is deleted straight away. However, many passengers understandably do not like the idea of having a naked image of themselves produced, and many have said that it is not the right way to go about security.

What’s more, passengers who are selected for the scans will be obliged to undergo them – if they refuse, they will not be able to board their flights. Over the next few months the scanners will arrive at other airports across the country, until eventually they are in place at all airports. There are also suggestions that the scans could become a compulsory part of the security procedure in the future for all passengers.

Comments - 14


1. Jackie Passey

22nd Feb 2010 - 09:57 PM

Whilst I agree that we need to do what we can to improve security I feel that it's a big intrusion on peoples privacy to be taking photos of "naked" bodies and that complete strangers are looking at these images. My biggest concern however is that considering the goverments and public service sector recent lapses in security - confidential information been left on trains and falling into the wrong hands that the same will happen here. How do we know that the images are destroyed immediately and aren't being published in various places? I also feel very uncomfortable with a stranger basically looking through my clothes at a "naked" image it feels like a big intrusion of privacy and very embarrassing to be photographed naked. Is there a better way of increasing security?

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2. G.M

3rd Mar 2010 - 08:48 AM

In an ideal world none of this would be necessary. Although I do not like this new system, I feel that unless those who complain about it can offer a better solution we have no choice. Due to the waiting times for a scan in hospitals maybe they should go the whole hog and and give us a print out so we can see if we have any ulcers, growths etc. :-)

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3. 1984

3rd Mar 2010 - 10:35 AM

These scanners are both an invasion of privacy and safety. Facts, based on the Rapiscan company themselves who make the scanners:
They DO store and transmit images;
They DO penetrate the body to see bones ( look at the pictures and the Rapiscan site ), and are therefore more powerful and more dangerous than the Government will admit;
They DO show up things like embarrassing prostheses, such as mastectomy breast implants well below the skin. These women will be subject to sexual and physical abuse as they are stripped and cavity searched and their breasts are groped and pulled to try find out if they are a bomb - medical documentation is easily faked.

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4. Jay

28th Mar 2010 - 09:22 PM

What is the problem, they are just like an xray, lots of bones etc., Or you can blow up over the Atlantic, I just hope I'm not on that plane

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5. m.zah

3rd Apr 2010 - 08:17 AM

well if the government relly need to put these scanars, then it should be seperate for women and mens. for women it should be only femals who scan them and for men only male should scan then i dont think there will be any problem.

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6. Jude Lawrence Fernandes

12th Apr 2010 - 11:53 AM

Some of us are harmless creatures of God! So,why be scared of us, when we wouldn't hurt anyone! I feel that there is a limit to how far security measures can go -- not everyone should be subject to such 'body scans' ... I think I would be somewhat embarrassed at someone else veiwing me. Nevertheless, I would abide by any security rules -- no choice anyway!

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7. eileen summers

15th Apr 2010 - 02:43 PM

anything that makes air travel saferas to be a step in the right direction

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8. william devine

8th Jun 2010 - 05:04 PM

I agree scans should be compulsory for all flights. WE ARE ALL THE SAME. Don't agree, get a train, or boat, or bus, or bike, car, tram, balloon, or a piggy back. Be scanned be safe...

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9. N. Malik

8th Aug 2010 - 05:30 PM

I am really shocked and upset to hear the measures taken although I am aware the reasons behind them are for the safety of others as well as ourselves.I truly believe that the systems put in place are giving people the opportuntie to misuse them. They will have trained staff apporopriately to do this job, so they say and yet I am aware that what decent person is going to take a job watching naked people,even if it is a virtual naked picture.I feel like I am already being treated as a terrorist who has lost all they rights.Nothing makes clear sense no more, is this government protecting us or putting us in the firing line.

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10. emica

2nd Nov 2010 - 11:28 PM

Later reports say these scanners routinely record all images, and they remain available for viewing / backup / forwarding to third parties.

Can you confirm that the machines in use at BHX are guaranteed to delete the images, and that setting cannot be overridden by anyone with access to the machines?

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11. karanveer

6th Dec 2010 - 11:15 AM

new world order! this is just another way for the government to take control of our lives, there are no terrorist unless you want to call the government terrorist it will continue to happen as they wont even be scanned and therefore increasing more so called terrorist activities, this is full violation of our rights as humans. people who do not question this have already submitted to being enslaved by the government

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12. Sick

30th Jun 2011 - 01:32 AM

I bet the people who built the scanners dont fly.

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13. Mrs B Taylor

24th May 2012 - 07:33 PM

My husband and I have no problem with any sort of security which is only there for our safety. Our concern is on a much more personal level,When scanned having to wear a medical appliance about ones person, who gets to see this?

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14. marie W

23rd Jul 2014 - 11:04 PM

I was not told that these scanners see a naked image when I have been subjected to the scans. I do strongly object. I thought the EU Human Rights commision had ruled that these are an infringemnt to the right to privacy. Of course the government ignores the EU when it suits them.

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