DfT to consult on airport scanners
02 February 2010
The Transport Secretary Lord Adonis has revealed he will launch a public consultation on how airport body scanners should be used.
The requirement to deploy advanced image scanners came into effect on 1 February. This means over the course of February, additional scanners will be deployed at Heathrow and Manchester Airports, and Birmingham will introduce its first.
But the implications for privacy invasion and prejudicial targeting has forced the government to introduce an interim code of practice covering privacy, data protection and equality issues.
In a written ministerial statement, Lord Adonis said: "Given the current security threat level, the government believes it essential to start introducing scanners immediately. However I wish to consult widely on the long-term regime for their use, taking full account of the experience of the initial deployment.
"The department will, therefore, shortly be launching a full public consultation on the requirements relating to the use of scanners as set out in the interim code of practice, and will consider all representations carefully before preparing a final code of practice later in the year. I am grateful for the representations already received from the Equality and Human Rights Commission."
In the mean time, Lord Adonis said only a small portion of passengers will be selected for scanning. If a passenger declines the scan, they will be refused a flight, he added.