Tags: privacy | airport | strip search

Privacy Advocates Decry 'Virtual Strip Search'

Wednesday, 30 December 2009 11:56 PM

The full-body scanning technology being adopted and discussed since the attempt to take down a passenger plane on Christmas Day is under attack from privacy advocates who call it a "virtual strip search."

The controversial technology, first used in a U.S. airport in 2007, can find hidden objects that metal detectors can't.

"The advanced imaging technology enhances security because it can detect both metallic and nonmetallic threats hidden on a passenger's body," TSA spokesman Greg Soule said.

Privacy rights groups are wary of movements to impose the anatomically revealing technology on all travelers as a primary screening method.

"Obviously we have a concern because it's a virtual strip search that is terribly invasive," said Michael German, policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Federal authorities have charged suspect Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, 23, of Nigeria, with trying to detonate explosives hidden in his underwear on a flight from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Detroit, Michigan. The device failed to fully detonate.

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Wednesday, 30 December 2009 11:56 PM
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