Equality and Human Rights Commission wade in to body scanner row
February 19th, 2010 by elisa

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has waded in to the body scanners row. In a letter to Transport Secretary Lord Adonis, they have warned that the use of scanners at UK airports may be unlawful. The commission has expressed concern that the technology – currently in place at Heathrow and Manchester – may be breaking discrimination law as well as breaching passengers’ rights to privacy.

In the letter, the commission said it acknowledged the threat posed by terrorist activities but it had concerns ”about the apparent absence of safeguards to ensure the body scanners are operated in a lawful, fair and non-discriminatory manner”.

It added that it also had ”serious doubts that the decision to roll this (body scanning) out in all UK airports complies with the law”.

Currently the scanners are being trialled and passengers may ask for same sex scanners to help them feel more more at ease with the procedure, however there may still be allegations from people such as that from Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan, who claimed his naked image was printed and circulated by Heathrow scanner operators. This sounds rather implausible from what we know about how the pictures are treated, in private, and are not held or saved anywhere; but cases such as these are likely to continue to arise if people lack confidence and trust in the system and if what the Equality and Human Rights Commission state is true.

See my last blog post regarding the scanners here.

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