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BSIA supports use of full-body scanners in UK airports

Published on 23 February, 2010
 BSIA all for use of full-body scanners in UK airports
Full-body scanners help in carrying out important security checks
In light of the full-body scanners recently hitting the headlines again, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) is highlighting the importance of safety over sensationalism.

Just last week claims were made from Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan that on a recent trip through Heathrow Airport his scanned image was printed out and shared among staff. Following this incident, there have been warnings from the Equality and Human Rights Commission that body scanners may be illegal because they could breach passenger's rights to privacy.

Ashley Smith, the BSIA's Civil Aviation Security Section Chairman, commented: "The attempted terrorist attack that took place over Detroit on Christmas Day alone provides a stark reminder of the importance of aviation security. Technology such as full-body scanners plays a vital role in helping airport staff to maintain vigilance and carry out all-important security checks."

The use of full-body scanners allows passengers to travel safely and securely with minimum disruption to their journey

"To better protect an individual's privacy, full-body scanners should not work in the same manner as the hand-luggage scanners we are all used to seeing at the airport. Image analysis should be done remotely, out of sight of the scanned passenger, with systems incapable of storing, exporting or transmitting those images. All images should be automatically deleted from the systems after they have been reviewed."

"The use of full-body scanners is simply an evolution of existing security technology and allows passengers to travel safely and securely with minimum delay or disruption to their journey. With this in mind, the private security industry has welcomed the Government's support for full-body scanning technology in UK airports."

Read more about the BSIA's Civil Aviation Section here.

Fast facts:

  • Over 221 million passengers passed through UK airports in 2009 (Source: Civil Aviation Authority data, 2009)
  • Members of the BSIA provide essential security products and services to UK airports.
  • The BSIA works closely with the Government's Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT) to help protect the country's critical national infrastructure and deliver the UK's counter-terror strategy. For more information, visit the OSCT website.

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