Photo Gallery Scanning Debate Heats Up after Terror Scare

It seems likely that a full-body scanner could have detected the explosives carried by a would-be terrorist on Flight 253. But the scanners which do a "digital strip search" are unpopular in Europe. Now Germany's interior minister has said his country may reconsider its stance on the controversial technology.
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Privacy issues are being resolved in a variety of ways. It is also possible to blank out or blur the face of the scanned individual and German police are experimenting with reducing the resulting pictures from full-body scanners to mere outlines. Pictured here is a full-body scanner currently being tested in a pilot program at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.

Foto: Ed Oudenaarden/ dpa
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A traveler at Schiphol Airport is voluntarily scanned using the full body scanners installed there. As a Schiphol spokesperson said, "European regulations tell us we can only put people through them (the full-body scanners) on a voluntary basis. And objections have been raised with regards to privacy."

Foto: Ed Oudenaarden/ dpa
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An instruction sign inside a full-body scanner at Schiphol Airport.

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Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam became one of the first airports in Europe to start testing full-body scanning.

Foto: ddp
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Full-body scanners provide an alternative to time-consuming pat-down body searches, which some feel is even more intrusive than the so-called "digital strip search."

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A scan, as they appear on machines at American airports. The fact that the naked human form appears in resulting pictures is considered an invasion of privacy by many.

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To resolve privacy issues in the US, security officials doing the scanning are located in a different area from the passengers being scanned and cannot connect a face to the image.

Foto: David McNew/ Getty Images
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Pictures obtained through use of a scanner that uses a low-energy full-body x-ray. Professor Rolf Michel, the head of the Commission on Radiological Protection at Germany's Environment Ministry, has warned against the using x-ray scanners on humans at airports. Long-term exposure to frequent fliers, he said, have the potential to cause cancer.

Foto: ? Reuters Photographer / Reuters/ REUTERS
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A picture from a scanner that uses X-rays shows that the individual is carrying a weapon beneath her clothing.

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