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Bluelotus
11-09-2004, 10:51 PM
Tuesday November 9, 10:47 AM

Airport scanner "undresses" passengers

By Mohammed Abbas



LONDON (Reuters) - A new X-ray machine at Heathrow airport, which sees through passengers' clothes, has been attacked by civil liberties campaigners as a "voyeur's charter".

The machine uses low-level radiation to see through clothing, producing an anatomically detailed black and white image of the body underneath.

Capable of detecting solid objects concealed under clothing, it started a four month trial in October.

Randomly picked passengers are asked if they will volunteer to be scanned by the machine.

"I stood in front of the screen and they took three pictures in different positions," said passenger Pernille Nielsen.

"I don't mind if the pictures are a little more personal as long as I'm safe in air -- that's what matters," she told Reuters.

Another passenger, Maria Love, said: "It's all about being safe, and I really have no problem with it."

A spokeswoman for BAA Heathrow said 98 percent of participants gave positive feedback.

But civil rights group Liberty called the X-ray images unjustified and intrusive.

"We obviously do not object to taking security measures, but I remain totally unconvinced that it is necessary," a spokesman said.

To justify the intrusion, the airport should show current detectors are inadequate, he added.

"It's an obvious invasion of people's privacy -- it's a voyeur's charter."

The American Transport Security Administration, which has considered using the machines at U.S. airports, echoed Liberty's concerns.

"There are a number of privacy issues that need to be addressed before we would do field tests," a spokeswoman said.

Scanners currently looking for concealed weapons or explosives on passengers have shown limitations in the past.

Traditional X-ray machines used to scan baggage have often struggled to identify plastic explosives, accidentally sounding alarms when detecting chocolate, cheese and peanut butter because of their similar density to the explosive Semtex.

Heathrow, which for security reasons declined to say how the new X-ray machine improves on current scanners, denies the machines could cause embarrassment.

"It's a very low dose X-ray, the images are not stored, it's same sex operated and the operator that sees the image will not see the person," said the airport spokeswoman.

"There will not be a situation that could cause embarrassment," she added.

Heathrow is one of the world's busiest airports, handling around 64 million passengers a year.

thanx to : reuters and yahoo


:think: I'm not quite sure it is necessary :?
and those pix they take how quickly are they destroyed?



blue.

RaasuKutty
11-09-2004, 11:50 PM
Blue,

There are certain things which we are not supposed to worry upon.. I wud classify this the same way.. If the airport authorities are bringing in such a scan, it becomes their duty to make sure that none of the pictures scanned are misused/improperly handled.. Before they bring in such a scan, I am sure they would have considered the pros and cons..

I think ppl worry too much about piracy.. Something that blown out of proportion.. :00:

vasan
11-09-2004, 11:56 PM
I think its a blatant invasion of privacy.

Question is not whether they are going to abuse it, but why they need it? I wouldn't want some 'jokers' searching my home with out rhyme or reason and now they can search me for the same thing..

This is not going to solve the terrorism issue in any way. Its not as though all the explosives are seen on a scan.... it could be a bio thing, and if so how the heck anyone is going to catch??

The whole thing is mere blow out.. all that will happen is one or two companies making this scanner ending up rich.. :evil:

v-

vasan
11-09-2004, 11:59 PM
Also, already the scanning in most airports is based on some 'weird' profiling.. If a guy looks like some one, some part of the world, has 'funny' clothes or whatever they are targetted..

I can't imagine what will happen now..

Why am I thinking of 1984... Orwell was right.. Only it should have been 2004.. :evil:

v-

anainar
11-10-2004, 01:01 AM
I saw the news and I too was appalled by what the scan can do. It is a blatant invasion of privacy. The authorities have failed to convince us that it is actually going to improve security. In the name of security they think they can do any thing and getaway. Fear is a strong feeling for everyone to keep their mouth shut. I wont be surprised if airports worldover start using this scan. They are talking about destroying the picture. How about when that picture is viewed by that guy sitting infront of the scanner? How would the one being scanned feel? It will be like standing naked, all because he/she wants to take a flight.

Only God can help those morons who think they can use terrorism to getby with what ever they do. We are better off putting all those characters in Guantanemo bay all for themselves to feel secure.

Cheers

RaasuKutty
11-10-2004, 01:28 AM
"It's a very low dose X-ray, the images are not stored, it's same sex operated and the operator that sees the image will not see the person," said the airport spokeswoman.


They have clearly mentioned the precautions that they are going to undertake.. Anyone who records personal records/photos are legally responsible to maintain it. Also, the quoted portion clearly shows that they have taken steps to prevent embarassment at a later stage. So there shudn't be any concern for privacy upto me :P :P...

Also reg fighting terrroism, It is not a matter of how well a particular step is going to help fight terrorism but its just a way how we block the avenues for a possible attack or how cautious are we...

ashokcsn_2000
11-10-2004, 01:35 AM
Same sex, operator not seeing the person does not matter... Humans are humans.... with emotions... just the profile is enough... i suppose that there are some who dont care abt the same sex concept....

ok ok let me stop with that...

anainar
11-10-2004, 01:47 AM
Anyone who records personal records/photos are legally responsible to maintain it.

How responsible are the govts when it comes to embarassing itself? Unless it is taken up as a movement? Take Abhu Garib prison torture. The soldiers were responsible for many things. How many did hold them responsible? Or for that matter the rakcets where the police themselves rape their victims?

To me taking on govts is a monumental task for an individual. That is the strength of the govt. They have deep pockets because it is not their money anyway. Imagine the spate of an individual whose profile comes out in public. Or for that matter the mere fact that there is another human being watching your profiles creeps you out. All this in the name of security.

The mere fact that our privacy is invaded in the name of security means, how afraid we are. There are much better ways to air travel safer. This scanning the least one of them.

Cheers

RaasuKutty
11-10-2004, 01:50 AM
Same sex, operator not seeing the person does not matter... Humans are humans.... with emotions... just the profile is enough... i suppose that there are some who dont care abt the same sex concept....


Ashok,

The same thing happens in hospital and we are ready for that just b'oz we know that its a necessity and at the same time, its secure too.. Same is the case here.. The initial apprehension will be there but it will become acceptable as days go .. :P :P

anainar
11-10-2004, 01:58 AM
The same thing happens in hospital

RK, hospitals are run by professionals. Besides they dont get profile of the body. They take either X-Rays or do a physical checkup. And the X-ray does come to you after the Dr sees it. Besides, the professionalism of doctors are way ahead of the guys hired by security companies. Even in case of doctor, if he asks me to strip for a bump in the head, he will get a malpractice suit. Above all, there are laws governing misuse. How is the govt going to gurantee or what actions is it going to take if it is misused? None, except, tonnes of bureaucracy coming in between.

Cheers

RaasuKutty
11-10-2004, 05:26 AM
How responsible are the govts when it comes to embarassing itself? Unless it is taken up as a movement? Take Abhu Garib prison torture. The soldiers were responsible for many things. How many did hold them responsible? Or for that matter the rakcets where the police themselves rape their victims?


Anainar,

There are differences between some elapses caused in extreme cases as compared with a planned exercise. I do agree that the ones mentioned by you are failures but We shouldn't stop looking further just b'coz of the failures alone.. Take for example the Social Security Number or citizen/alien history privacy in the US.. Even these were aggressive govt initiatives and till date, the govt has been able to maintain it very well... We can view them as examples..

Also, Given the potential damage that can be caused by overseeing this, its better to play safe rather to feel sorry at a later stage... It might be true that the people who wanna bomb might find other ways but filling the todays hole is always important..



RK, hospitals are run by professionals. Besides they dont get profile of the body. They take either X-Rays or do a physical checkup. And the X-ray does come to you after the Dr sees it.


In this case, the images are never stored and It makes much more sense for them not to store images. :P :P Its going to be an kind of mild X-Ray which ideally means that it is not going to be any form of human identification.. (Not sure if there's a way to identify people from X-Ray :oops: :oops:)

To top it all, a similar screening is present in all parts of the world.. Authorities can demand ANY AIRLINE PASSENGER to a private room to check them and this is happening on a selective basis... The proposed way is a much better and efficient way of doing the same check and applies to all passengers...



How is the govt going to gurantee or what actions is it going to take if it is misused? None, except, tonnes of bureaucracy coming in between.



To me taking on govts is a monumental task for an individual. That is the strength of the govt. They have deep pockets because it is not their money anyway.


These are the only questions to be answered by those people..

Who is responsible in case of a mishap and to what degree are they responsible?

Since this is going to be Airport Authority, they will have to come up with an answer for this too.. I do join you in raising this concern but will not reject the entire idea until a better idea is found .. :P :P