NAKED IMAGE SECURITY SCANS NOW? CRAZY!
Although nothing to do with Macedonia, but we do think this news is absurd and important.
Originally, passengers had to remove their jackets when passing through airport security. Then it was belts, and soon shoes had to come off too. But those who feared that losing one's trousers was the next logical step will find scant comfort in the news that an x-ray machine that produces "naked" images of passengers will be introduced at a British international airport today.
As well as enabling staff to instantly spot any hidden weapons or explosives, the full-body scanner being trialled at Manchester airport will leave little to the imagination of airport security staff. It will reveal a clear outline of passengers genitalia, as well as any false limbs, breast enlargements or body piercings.
Travellers can refuse to undergo the virtual strip at Terminal 2 and choose a traditional "pat down" search instead, according to the airport, which admits that some travellers may feel uncomfortable about using the new technology.
The scan's black and white image will be seen by one officer in a remote location before it is deleted, said Sarah Barrett, head of customer experience at the airport.
"Most of our customers do not like the traditional 'pat down' search, they find it too intrusive, but they still want to be kept safe. This scanner completely takes away the hassle of needing to undress. The images are not erotic or pornographic and they cannot be stored or captured in any way," she said.
As passengers will not have to remove their coats, shoes or belts, the scanner will – in theory – speed up the check-in process. Frequent flyers will not be at risk from the low-level radiation, which is 20,000 times less powerful than a dental x-ray, Barrett said.
"Passengers can go through this machine 5,000 times a year each without worrying, it is super safe and the amount of radiation transmitted is tiny," she said.
The scanners, made by the firm RapiScan Systems at a cost of £80,000 each, were trialled at Heathrow airport in 2004. The Department for Transport will decide whether to install them permanently at the end of the trial, which is expected to last for a year.
Electromagnetic waves are beamed on to passengers while they stand in a booth, and a virtual three-dimensional "naked" image is created from the reflected energy. Security officials in the US have pioneered the use of the scanners at New York and Los Angeles airports and they are gradually being introduced at other airports in the country.
MD: This is just going too far, this is absurd and a big violation of privacy. This should not be implemented in airports, we hope more people protest. Are we all going crazy?