Feeds

New anonymity rule on Euro airport body scanners

Nudie-watching staff kept away from passengers

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The European Commission has adopted new rules for the use of body scanners at airports.

From now on, any European Union country that wants to use the controversial technology with have to do so "under strict operational and technical conditions", the EC said in a statement.

"Security scanners are not a panacea but they do offer a real possibility to reinforce passenger security," Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas said in the statement.

"It is still for each Member State or airport to decide whether or not to deploy security scanners, but these new rules ensure that where this new technology is used it will be covered by EU-wide standards on detection capability as well as strict safeguards to protect health and fundamental rights."

Under the new legislation, security scanners can't store, copy, print or retrieve images and any unauthorised access and use of the image is prohibited: fairly rudimentary stuff. But interestingly, the regulations also stipulate that the person looking at the image should be in a separate location and the image and the person should not be linked in any way (presumably unless they do turn out to be a terrorist).

Passengers must be informed about the conditions under which the body scan is taking place, and they have the right to refuse to do it as long as they accept an alternative method of screening.

"By laying down specific operational conditions and by providing passengers with the possibility of opting out, the legislation safeguards fundamental rights and the principles recognised in particular by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union," the EC said.

X-ray doesn't mark the spot

On the technology side, the main concern for the EU is health and safety. The Commission's rules state that only security scanners that don't use X-ray tech are authorised for passenger screening.

"All other technologies, such as that used for mobiles phones and others, can be used provided that they comply with EU security standards," the Commission added.

EU countries including the UK, Finland, Germany and France have already been trialling body scanners, despite the ongoing controversy surrounding the technology. The main concerns are the health and safety ones about being bombarded by X-rays or other radiation and the human rights ones about a camera that essentially takes a nude picture of passengers.

In July, America's Transport Security Administration made some concessions to those who objected to being photographed in the nip by rolling out a new software that presents a generic human form with any discovered objects on the actual person super-imposed, rather than that person's actual naked outline. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.