Germany reconsiders millimeter wave scanners

Published 1 December 2008

Last month the European Parliament banned the use of millimeter wave scanner at European airports because the scanners’ sensitivity allow security personnel to see anatomically correct nude images of passengers; Germany wants to revisit the issue

Last month the European Parliament voted down — 361 to 16 with 181 abstention — a proposal to place millimeter wave body scanners at security check points of European airports (see 24 October 2008 HS Daily Wire). The argument was made that the scanners, because their extreme sensitivity, offer security personnel the ability to view anatomically correct nude images of passengers. The German government, however, has decided to have another look at the technology.

Privacy advocates and left-leaning politicians call the technology “Nacktscanner” (“naked scanner”), and Petra Pau, a leftist member of the Bundestag, described the plan to test the scanner at German airports as it “staatlichen Peepshow” (“state-sponsored peepshow”).

Aware of these concerns, the German Interior Ministry said that “Germany will begin laboratory tests in the next few weeks on full-body airport screening devices to see if they can produce images that do not show passengers naked.”