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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Submit or stay home

If you're singled out for a full-body scan at London-Heathrow or Manchester airports - or soon at any other airport in the UK - and you refuse the scan, you won't be allowed to fly.
Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said: 'In the immediate future, only a small proportion of airline passengers will be selected for scanning.

'If a passenger is selected for scanning and declines, they will not be permitted to fly.'

He said a code of conduct would govern how images were used and which passengers were checked.

Campaigners say the scanners, which act like a mini radar device 'seeing' beneath ordinary clothing, are an invasion of privacy.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has warned that the scanners breach privacy rules under the Human Rights Act for their naked images.

The exemption of under 18s from being scanned, which was in place during the trial of the machines in Manchester, has also been removed.

The Department for Transport has published an interim code of practice for the scanners. The officer operating the machine never sees the image, and the employee viewing the scan must be in another room.

The scan cannot be saved, printed or transmitted. Passengers can also demand that only officers of their sex see their image.

BAA, which runs Heathrow, refused to comment on how many scanners are in place and in which terminals they will be used, although it is believed they will be in Terminal 4.
Now that British Airways is in Terminal 5, of course they'll be in Terminal 4. (British Airways long distance flights - including their flights to Israel - moved from Terminal 4 to the new Terminal 5 about a year and a half ago). Yet another reason not to connect through London on my next trip to the US. (For the most part, the best connections are through London).

What will they do when a bomber gets through with a surgically attached bomb?



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