Europe defers body-scanner debate
Spain: In view of the reticence of some member countries, the
27-member European Union postponed for June a decision to introduce
full-body scanners in airports, as promoted by the United States.
The EU Transportation Ministers reached a preliminary agreement on
Friday that is only a starting point to discuss the issue thoroughly in
the Council of Ministers to be held in four months.
In a meeting in La Coruna, Galicia, in Spain, the Ministers agreed to
draft a regulation taking into account likely collateral damages of the
said security technology to the travellers' health and privacy.
EU Transportation Commissioner Siim Kallas announced that the
European Commission will present in April a report on the use of the
controversial devices that will serve as a base to draw conclusions to
be presented in June.
He explained that EU member states might regulate the use of body
scanners, but without imposing any obligation.
Besides health and privacy-related issues, the document to be
presented in April should include an analysis on the legal effects of
The result is expected to be a code of conduct guaranteeing that the
images are immediately destroyed and that no selective control is
carried out on race, gender or any other grounds.