Heathrow Airport Body Scanner Abused; Employee Takes Picture of Woman’s Scanned Image

Back in January, when talk of putting body scanners in airports was running at full steam, I posted my opinion on the whole matter, which is, in short that it’s a horrible idea that offers up way too many opportunities for abuse of the system by less than ethical employees and the government.  I pointed out how accurately the body scanners portray people’s forms and how some countries had even banned the use of body scanners on children because it was a violation of child pornography laws that state that nude images of children cannot be created.  Additionally, I pointed out ways in which the images could be removed from the area, and even how simple photo editing could reverse the colors to create accurate color nude images of people.  Here are the example images I posted:

There were a lot of naysayers in that debate, talking about how it could never happen, how there would be preventive measures put in place to keep people from abusing the imaging system.  As with all systems, there are always holes, and the first one just cropped up.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Police received an allegation regarding an incident that happened at Heathrow Terminal 5 on March 10. A first-instance harassment warning has been issued to a 25-year-old male.”

The BAA employee took a photo of his co-worker, Jo Margetson, when she inadvertently went through a scanner.

“I can’t bear to think about the body scanner thing,” she told the Sun. “I’m totally traumatised. I’ve spoken to the police about it. I’m in too much of a state to go to work.”

via guardian.co.uk

I’m not going to drag this out, because I’m sure most of you have read both sides of the argument already, but just keep this in mind the next time you’re taking your wife and young daughter through the airport.  One last thing I’d like to reiterate though, is that these body scanners would not have detected the bomb that was used on the December 25th, 2009 attempted airplane bombing that these scanners are being installed as a reaction to.  That’s all of our tax dollars, hard at work buying things that wouldn’t even have solved the original problem.

Update: This is my favorite quote from the news article (linked to from the quote above):

“Air passengers already tolerate a large invasion of their privacy and we do not feel that full-body scanners add greatly to this situation. Privacy concerns should not prevent the deployment of scanners.”

Essentially this guy is saying that because they already violate your privacy, it’s absolutely ok for them to continue violating it. Get ready for invasive probes after the next terrorist hides a bomb inside their rectum or vagina. It’ll be ok, because they’ve already invaded your privacy greatly by virtually strip searching you, so why not go a bit further?