October 1, 2008
Digital body scanners which leave little to the imagination will be used by airport security on passengers travelling across the European Union within two years.
According to a draft European Commission regulation, seen by The Daily Telegraph, the new millimetre wave imaging scanners are to be used “individually or in combination, as a primary or secondary means and under defined conditions” to provide a “virtual strip search” of travellers.
The new EU regulation, which will be binding on Britain, is intended to enter into force across the continent by the end of April 2010.
Dominic Grieve, Shadow Home Secretary, stressed that while body scanners may be an effective security tool “the implementation must be carried out by the British government in a proportionate manner, based on UK security requirements rather than the dictates of Brussels”.
“Ministers need to explain publicly and transparently what these proposals are and why they are suitable to the UK,” he said.
The new imaging technology creates an image of an unclothed body which privacy critics argue “amounts to a virtual strip search” has been tested on a voluntary basis at Heathrow’s Terminal Four.
But the trial has now been discontinued, said a Heathrow spokeswoman.
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