Full-Body Airport Scanners May Violate Laws, Says UK’s EHRC

16 February 2010 (Last Updated February 16th, 2010 18:30)

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in the UK has said the recent introduction of full-body scanners at British airports may breach human rights laws. The EHRC has asked the UK government to take immediate action to bring its policy for full-body scanning passengers at UK ai

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in the UK has said the recent introduction of full-body scanners at British airports may breach human rights laws.

The EHRC has asked the UK government to take immediate action to bring its policy for full-body scanning passengers at UK airports within the law.

The UK has recently introduced full-body scanners at London's Heathrow airport and Manchester airport in an effort to avert terrorist attacks.

The technology produces an image of the whole body, which is then viewed by security personnel in order to detect hidden explosives.

The EHRC's chief concern, however, is whether passengers will be unfairly selected for scanning on the basis of race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation or disability.

The EHRC has already written a letter to Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis expressing its concern about the apparent absence of safeguards to ensure the body scanners are operated in a lawful, fair and non-discriminatory manner.

The Transport Department, however, said it is committed to ensure that all security measures are used legally, proportionately and in a non-discriminatory way.