Posted by queenmadison

Passengers fear airport "virtual strip search"

PASSENGERS have condemned the trial of new airport x-ray technology dubbed the "virtual strip search", saying they fear images of their genitals will end up on Facebook and MySpace.
Children could be screened by pedophiles, while pregnant women could be exposed to radiation if the new technology is accepted.
The full-body scanner, on trial in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide airports from this month, allows screeners to detect non-metallic devices, objects and weapons concealed on a person's body. It also reveals body outlines, organs and genitals.
Readers feel the new security measure has gone too far.
“Sure as heck, some customs officers will make snide remarks about young girls with breast implants and people with piercings in private locations. You betcha some will appear on Facebook or MySpace,” said a post on
“What happens in the event that a woman is screened who does not know at the time of screening that she is pregnant?” asked a reader. “Doctors advise against such X-ray procedures in the event it causes harm to the baby… where is the liability to be placed in the event of birth defects?”
Another reader asked: “What about adults being able to see effectively naked young children.
“I hope the vetting for these airport security guards is rigorous.”
Office of Transport Security executive director Paul Retter has assured passenger privacy would be protected "People who do opt for the technology trial lane can do so knowing that the officer examining the images is located away from the screening lane and cannot see them," said Mr Retter. "Faces are blurred and images are not saved and cannot be transferred." But some readers are not convinced. “The images aren't saved but what's to stop an operator taking a snapshot of the screen on their mobile phone,” said a post. However, not all feedback was negative. Some readers felt the screenings would make flying safer, and hoped the new device would do away with strip searches.
“This is nothing like being strip-searched. A strip-search is physically uncomfortable because the subject is nude and in a vulnerable situation,” said a reader.
“An X-ray of your organs and genitals shown on screen in another room watched by a bored security guard is completely unobtrusive. It's less of a pain in the arse than having to empty your pockets at the metal detectors.”
"What’s worse, being a fatty, getting scanned and being embarrassed or someone taking a weapon onto a flight and killing everyone?”