European Data Protection Digest

Airport Scanner Controversy Continues

TRAVELLERS’ PRIVACY

November 19, 2010

While a U.S. transportation official defended his agency's use of full body airport security scanners before a senate committee meeting this week, a German radio report claimed that the scanners being tested on a voluntary basis at the Hamburg Airport do not function correctly. North German Radio Channel 90.3 reported that the scanners apparently flag too many items as suspicious, and software written to resolve problems has not yet been installed. For example, the scanners are not reliable when penetrating multiple layers of clothing or with folds and wrinkles in individual clothing items, the report states. Consequently, manual passenger rechecks are frequent and long delays common. (Article in German.) Editor's note: A robust conversation about the privacy concerns associated with full body scanners is taking place on the IAPP Privacy List. Members can sign up or view the archives here.
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