Feeds

MEPs warn on 'virtual strip searches'

Old bodies, new scanners, new danger

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Members of the European Parliament have asked the Commission to look carefully at the privacy implications of millimetre wave scanners - which effectively produce naked pictures of passengers.

The technology has already been trialled in the UK - at Paddington railway station - but was found to be impractical and abandoned.

Although the technology can be used to peer beneath people's clothes, more recent incarnations, like the 12 ordered by the US Transport Safety Administration, work on an alarm system - a red light flashes or an alarm sounds if an unexpected object is detected beneath clothing.

But that hasn't stopped the MEPs getting into a tizzy about the fact that the machines could produce "scanned images of persons as if they were naked, equivalent to a virtual strip search." Yes, NAKED.

The MEPs have adopted a resolution on the technology, in which they say the Commission's draft measure "could exceed the implementing powers as the measures foreseen cannot be considered mere technical measures related to security, but have a serious impact on the fundamental rights of citizens. MEPs consider that the conditions for a decision have not yet been met, given that essential information is still lacking."

Philip Bradbourn, Tory MEP for the West Midlands, said: "This technology has the potential – and, I stress, the potential – to force air passengers to undergo what could be seen as undignifying treatment." Bradbourn noted that, as with rules on liquids in planes, what starts as exceptional measures can quickly become the norm for airport security.

MEPs asked the Commission to investigate privacy implications alongside the possible health impact of the technology, and an economic, commercial and cost-benefit analysis. Whether MEPs regard an actual strip search, or even a quick grope from a minimum-wage security monkey, as a worse invasion of privacy is not clear. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.