Invasion of privacy, radiation fears... at your own risk.
AIR travellers will be invited to take part in "virtual strip searches" [X-rays] at Australian airports when the Federal Government begins trials of security screening measures this month.
The measures include a body scanner [X-rays] that can see what lies under a person's clothes. The Government says the scanner could detect weapons and explosives, but critics say it is an invasion of privacy.
"It provides detailed images of a person's body … which many people might find highly embarrassing," said Stephen Blanks, of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties.
"It's not normal for security to require strip searches of people getting on aeroplanes, and why should this virtual strip search become the norm?"
The executive director of the Government's Office of Transport Security, Paul Retter, said: "During the trial, travellers will be able to choose the existing hand luggage scanners and walk-through metal detectors, or they could choose the technology trial lane and provide feedback on the technologies."
Measures existed to ensure passengers' privacy and dignity would be protected, he said. Officers examining the images would not see the actual person. "Faces are blurred and images are not saved."
He said the scans were safe [?] and emitted only a minute amount of radiation.
The trial will also include [X-ray] machines that detect explosives, and liquid analysers.
Public acceptance of the technologies and their effect on passenger throughput will be monitored in the trials, which will run from mid-October to the end of November in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide.
Quote: No one needs another dose of radiation, we get enough as it is. Is the state going to be there on your cancer death bed with insurance?