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Privacy warning over trans people using airport scanners

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  1. “According to the EHRC, this will have a “negative impact” on privacy for a number of groups, including trans people, children, women, disabled people and the elderly.”

    i.e. everyone apart from men??? Why is it assumed men will be fine with it???

    Just had a conversation with my trans mate andd she said that all is revealed when she hands her passport over and it says Kevin on it anyway. She also said she’d suffer the indignity if it menat her plane didn’t blow up. Kinda with her on that one.

  2. all scanners do, is push the problem of terrorism to the security gate, where plane-loads of people are queueing in close proximity, as densely packed as any Baghdad market.

  3. If you don’t like it do not fly it’s as simple as that. I just don’t get it, we all know why these scanners are needed, they can be made impersonal by having the screener even be in another room. People need to get over themselves. Of course a trans or other are going to raise suspicion it’s a freaking airport. Get real people. At an airport you need to bare your soul to get on a plane to ensure the safety of everyone around you.

    If you don’t like it do not travel but I think anything that can make the whole shoes off, belt off crap a lot faster and easier gets my vote and sod privacy.

  4. Stuart Neyton 18 Jan 2010, 3:59pm

    “At an airport you need to bare your soul to get on a plane to ensure the safety of everyone around you.”

    But this just shifts the problem of terrorism somewhere else. Airport security is already very strong without these scanners. It’s by far the safest method of transportation. There is no way that all risk could be eliminated, and working towards that makes me wonder what next will be required. We may as well all fly naked.

    I don’t like the attitude “if you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear” because we’ve all got something to hide. Give me the password to your computer if that’s genuinely how you feel.

    This is a privacy issue not just for trans people but for everyone. How long before a market in celebrities’ scan photos opens up??

  5. Stuart Neyton: “I don’t like the attitude “if you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear” because we’ve all got something to hide. Give me the password to your computer if that’s genuinely how you feel.”

    I suspect you would be one of the first people to complain if a bomb was found, or went off, on your aircraft. No doubt screams of “insufficient security procedures”, etc etc. would be emanating from all the people that refused to take full body scans.

    Air travel is prime territory for terrorists, so one has to keep one step ahead of all the nutters out there. I don’t deny though that better screening ahead of even arriving at the airport would be a better idea. Passenger blacklists need to be issued. But then, we get into the whole matter of DNA profiles, retinal scans etc etc to prove identity. Much that people disapprove, the only sensible route is ID cards.

  6. How long before a full body scan will be needed for your passport?

    I will never fly to the USA again with the current flight requirements. Now you can not leave your seat for the last hour of you flight and your hands must be visible and all baggage must be stowed away.

  7. Once you start saying one group should be exempt then you’ve lost the arguement for scanner, It’s either safe for all or not. As already said if you don’t like it don’t fly.

    Oh and for you ‘it’s my human right to fly’ ones, yes it might be but it’s also the person next to you’s right to feel safe while doing so.

  8. I have to agree with Darren P’s comment here regarding the “everyone but men” implication of that statement in this article.

    But on the whole article itself… Okay sure its bearing a lot, but the most STUPID thing I have ever heard surrounding this whole issue is “well since it sees children naked, this is child pornography” or “since it sees women naked it could be taken as a form of degradation and sexual harassment” all paranoia that someone is gonna somehow take a screen shot of naked people who all look more like Dr Manhattan from The Watchmen if viewed through a VERY blurry lens, and then upload these blurry un-comprehensible images to the nearest porn sight.

    Not saying this scanner issue is a good thing here, the whole thing is just insane amounts of paranoia, sure the scanners work and could catch a lot of stuff, the only deal I see being made around this on the news can be pretty much boiled down to “but what if there is a guy watching the scanner getting his rocks off to a blurry picture of me?” which I honestly think is more offensive too the guy just doing his job more than anything else, that everyone will assume he’s a pervert. Exactly like people probably did when they first started having to get a pat-down to check for weapons… *head desk*

  9. Sarah Brown 18 Jan 2010, 4:42pm

    “Much that people disapprove, the only sensible route is ID cards.”

    The 9/11 bombers all had valid ID.

    Most of what happens at airports is security theatre – it’s being seen to be doing something whether it is effective or not. These scanners almost certainly fall into the same category. They’re reactive rather than proactive; an attempt to deal with yesterday’s threat rather than tomorrow’s, and ignore the real holes in airport security – those exploited by social engineering.

    As a trans woman myself, these scanners terrify me. I’m post op now, and all my documents are in accordance with how I present, so I’m one of the lucky ones. I remember being pre-op, and getting patted down by a security guard while leaving Venezuela. She briefly put her hand on the piece of anatomy that she probably didn’t expect to be there, before moving on. My heart missed a beat as I had visions of seriously unpleasant things happening to me when she realised what was going on. She didn’t, thankfully. Presumably she was too bored to work out that she’d just felt something that “shouldn’t” have been there. These scanners make it more likely that trans people will be picked out of line and subjected to abuse from hostile officials. I fear we have not heard the last of this.

  10. theotherone 18 Jan 2010, 4:51pm

    god how pathetic are the ‘I want protected regardless of my rights!’

    These scanners have been thrown out across Europe but this government wants to bring them in. Well them or full body cavity searches. I’d presume the same people would defend full body cavity searches?

  11. Scanners may well be necessary, but I don’t know why women, children and other groups have some special right not to be offended by the procedure than men. The most risky goup who walk about in Islamic dress will probably be waved through so that their feelings and stupid religion will not insulted.

  12. You can feel safe for your last hour of your flight Squidgy! But it wont stop you peeing yourself if you need the loo :)

  13. The Grinch 18 Jan 2010, 5:04pm

    A tip top travel tip for all of you who want a fun start to your hols: Scanning people is a boring job. In order to make this a lot more fun for airport personnel try placing a foot long cucumber and two oranges down your pants. By way of a bonus this may also result in a full cavity search. I thank you.

  14. theotherone 18 Jan 2010, 5:12pm

    ron: they are NOT necessary and are an invasion of privacy.

    If they’re so necessary then why isn’t europe installing them?

  15. Mihangel apYrs 18 Jan 2010, 5:13pm

    nakedness nudity sex

    we’re much too hung up on skin – hell I imagine after the 2000th fuzzy, flabby image any guy’s dickmwill be limp for a week.

    If scanning is the way help safeguard us do it.

  16. Mihangel apYrs 18 Jan 2010, 5:14pm

    F*** I lost the “not equals” symbols

  17. I heard a statistic, can’t remember where now, possibly on the news?
    Apparently, it is unlikely that these scanners would have caught the guy who tried to blow the plane up on christmas day and that it would only catch 50% of bombers.
    So half of the terrorists will still get through!

  18. Pumpkin Pie 18 Jan 2010, 5:27pm

    god how pathetic are the ‘I want protected regardless of my rights!’

    These scanners have been thrown out across Europe but this government wants to bring them in. Well them or full body cavity searches. I’d presume the same people would defend full body cavity searches?

    That’s a relief to hear. These things should be optional for those who want to be super-duper safe. The rest of us shouldn’t have to bother. I’ll take my chances.

  19. What about men’s privacy? As usual, the only concern is women, children (!) and trans people .

  20. I really couldn’t give a crap about people bleating on about invasion of privacy. I want to be SAFE on an aeroplane, above ALL else.

    I hope that, one day, we will have this same amount of protection on all public transport too – because once aeroplanes become impossible to blow up, buses, subways, trains and cruise ships will become the next target.

  21. Abi1975:- Don’t fly so it don’t bother me m8y!! lol

  22. theotherone 18 Jan 2010, 8:11pm

    simon: the problem is that no where else in Europe thinks these things are needed never mind desirable.

    I was watching Patrick Keiller’s London a few nights ago and it reminded me of the 80s and 90s IRA bombing campaigns. No one was asking for full body scans, cavity searches or anything of the ilk then so why now? The number of terrorist offenses carried out in the UK since the IRA cease fire have been tiny and the numbers killed even smaller. We need to get a grip.

    Anyway it looks like this debate is pointless anyway as The Daily Mail reports that the consensus in Europe is that these are unnecessary and invasive and it looks rather like they will be banned.

  23. theotherone 18 Jan 2010, 8:14pm

    Pie: I don’t know about these being safe, the radiation doses are actually higher than an X-Ray. In addition the government (I tend to use a small ‘g’ for them these days) wants them used to gain entry to Government Buildings, Council Offices, Libraries…

  24. Simon Murphy 18 Jan 2010, 8:37pm

    I absolutely LOATHE airports. They are big, cattle sheds designed to be as uncomfortable, unpleasant and expensive as possible.

    And I understand the need for security when travelling but as someone has already pointed out air-travel is already the safest method of travelling. The 7/7 bombings and the Madrid terrorist attack were in train stations / public transport. These are means of travel with very few security checks. Nothing compared to airports anyway.

    Regarding these new scanners – well if they will allow me to carry liquids of more than 100ml in my carry on luggage then I’ll be for them.

    I suspect they will just make being at airports even more unpleasant with even more queuing for hours.

  25. I don’t fly anymore. It’s just too nasty. Last time I crossed the pond I went by ship, no security of any kind. Much more civilized.

    Of course, you can always travel like this. Looks a bit exhausting though.

  26. I fail to see how they could ever be effective. As soon as you ‘screen out’ a single person, it negates the whole object. If it is implemented then there should be absolutely no exceptions. If everyone makes a fuss and refuses, planes will be delayed everywhere whilst thorough searches are done. Will religious fanatics and those wearing robes still just be waved through, as often seems to happen nowadays? I would not be surprised as we must not offend them must we?

  27. Yeah, Simon, I don’t know if you read the news overmuch but I’m afraid they’ve all already been hit and not for the first time by an extremist bunch of murdering thugs. I still don’t want a scanner anywhere in this country. They are not fool proof, anymore than any of the other security measures that we keep getting dumped on us, all of which, I’m sure, due to pressure by the yanks. Shame they weren’t so sharp on the IRA as they seem to be on the present day terrorists, might have saved a couple of thousand lives. Who knows, eh?

  28. Personally, (although I know that many other people feel differently) I would prefer to be scanned and not know anything about who was viewing me than have the experience of getting a rigorous pat-down search from a male security officer whilst his colleagues stand there, smirk and ‘enjoy the freak show’ – as happened to me at Madrid Airport a few years ago.

  29. I find it so strange that whenever a news report on this subject, “The Scanners” is done for print or Television, we only find that women are used as subjects. The fact is that once someone who you do not know or have a personal relationship with is able to view your private parts, for whatever how long they watch, there is a problem. The proff is in the further fact that you are viewing the projection of this female. Listen up people,… “THE PHOTOGRAPHY IS SAVED FOR 48 HOURS!!!

  30. If God had wanted us to fly, he’d have given us tickets.

  31. Very interesting how we are told over and over (out of fear) that we HAVE to have this! Or we will all die in an inferno. No, we don’t HAVE to have this. There has to be other ways. Don’t buy into every fear that the Government and the media tries to sell us.

  32. If the security staff engaged their brains (and the idiot Border Agency too, while I’m at it) rather than following routines, then the Xmas bomber wouldn’t have been able to get on that Detroit plane. See how many flights he’d been on (presumably to avoid detection); was he checked or just waved through because he was in transit? In some countries being rich means you can pretty much bypass security, so each country should re-check people and not just assume that they’ve already been checked.And finally, this man claimed to have diabetes and so took a syringe of liquid on borad. Well, my sister has diabetes and she has to travel with loads of paperwork to prove that, insulin unopened and sealed along with a prescription, etc etc – yet rarely do security look through any of that stuff.

    Personally, I think EVERYONE should receive a pat down search with any ‘not quite sure what this is’ people being taken for a body scan. On board, I’d make people buzz the attendant for permission to leave their seat, and I’d have an attendant stationed outside the toilet door. I hate flying anyway and it’s much worse now with the threat of nutters trying to blow you out of the skies. These scanners look creepy and I’d prefer a pat down search.

  33. Simon Murphy 19 Jan 2010, 11:35am

    Ok – so let’s assume that these scanners are introduced.

    I can guarantee that even once introduced there will be some major security breach in the future. It is inevitable. It is impossible to entirely eliminate the risk. What gets introduced then to make flying even more unpleasant?

    Flying is far safer than any other type of transport.

    I do not worry about my security when flying as the likelihood of some guy trying to explode the plane is so utterly tiny.

    It’s FAR more likely your plane is going to crash because the safety checks are so shoddy and fast (airlines routinely do half hearted safety checks on engines etc as to do a full safety check takes too much time and money)

  34. Simon Murphy 19 Jan 2010, 11:38am

    “Well, my sister has diabetes and she has to travel with loads of paperwork to prove that, insulin unopened and sealed along with a prescription, etc etc ”

    I am diabetic also.

    I never carry any paperwork to explain my insulin. I’ve never been stopped.

    I simply assume that the people at security should know how to do their jobs and know what medecine is.

    I’m certainly not paying a doctor’s fee to get a prescription for medecine (which I don’t even require a prescription for). Especially seeing as air travel is the ONLY method of travel that people think they need this paperwork.

  35. Simon Murphy: Both myself and my partner are Type I diabetic, and nobody has ever questioned either of us for carrying injection pens. If these people are so damned stupid as to question every drug that passes through, nobody would ever get on the bloody plane. It’s the usual Labour knee jerk reaction, like Dunblane and banning shotguns that people like me used to keep for sport, where every other punk kid is wandering the streets with Saturday night specials and 9mm semi-automatics.

    This government ALWAYS goes for the easy target, instead of concentrating on the situations they know are causing the problem like raiding mosques, because it is a holy place, and seen to be un-PC and blasphemous, and the Muslims damn well know it.

  36. Simon Murphy 19 Jan 2010, 2:16pm

    RobN: “where every other punk kid is wandering the streets with Saturday night specials and 9mm semi-automatics.”

    Are you living in Baghdad.

    Feral youth are another group of people who are FAR smaller in number than the media would have you believe.

    Most teenagers are decent, pleasant (albeit hormonal) and respectful.

    But judging by how they have been demonised in the press you’d think the majority of teenagers are just waiting to murder you.

    It’s bulls***.

    Just like the so-called security risk from terrorism.

    Yes the risk exists but you are far more likely to get run over by a bus than you are to get blown up on a train or stabbed by some hooded teenager.

  37. I fully support these scanners,

    I seem to always set off the metal detectors which currently result in some grubby security guy feeling me up (wouldn’t be so bad if they would hire some attractive happy guys). Anything that can make airport security quicker is fine by me.

    Slightly different subject but going through passport control in Schiphol the other days, two lines, first with people handing over their passports looking sheepish and getting dodgy looks from the passport man, taking ages, second line (thing this is Dutch national id card line) people quickly steeping though an automatic gate which scans their iris, much slicker and secure

  38. Here come all the people who will give up their last drop of blood to the government when asked, all in the name of security.

    When did we become a scared nation who when the government or a man in uniform tells us to jump we ask How high, Sir???

  39. Simon Murphy 20 Jan 2010, 11:46am

    Let’s not forget that people in Britain live under 24 hour surveillance already.

    People are being monitored and filmed by CCTV to a level unheard of in human history (people in Britain are monitored more than in Communist East Germany under the Stasi).

    Last month I was in a clothes shop in Central London and was appalled to learn that I couldn’t pay cash for an item of clothing as they would only accept cards (cards will leave a trace you see).

    What are the benefits?

    Being watched 24 x 7 hasn’t stopped crime and hasn’t even reduced crime.

    I am far more worried about what happens to the mountains of data that is being collected on a daily basis in the name of some ‘security’.

    It doesn’t make me feel secure. It makes me feel watched.

  40. Well I won’t be using the scanners. I like the ‘pat downs’ too much. Franfurt used to be the best – possibly because of the uniform. And if they need to see my genitals, they only have to ask nicely.

  41. er… just a very short history lesson for those suggesting that the government wasn’t ‘sharp’ on the IRA.

    Indefinite internment without trial.

    The very idea of that being introduced for suspected islamic terrorists gets the civil liberties lot jumping. I’d like to think it is because we live in more enlightened times now and we don’t assume somebody is a terrorist just because they’re catholic/muslim. But the idea that the government were somehow soft on the IRA is missing out on some serious back history.

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