TECH
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Child Porn Fears Block Under 18s From Full Body Scanners

Airport security personnel in British airports have been barred from scanning passengers under 18 years old with the newly adopted full body scanners due to warnings that the new devices may breach child pornography laws.

The full-body scanners adopted by British airports in the wake of the failed Christmas Day bombing attempt have come under fire over fears that the graphic images produced by the x-ray machines may violate child pornography laws.

The controversial scanners introduced recently at airports in the U.K. are capable of spotting weapons and explosives concealed under clothing by producing 'naked' x-ray images of passengers (see photo below).

The Daily Mail reports,

Child protection experts have warned that the image produced by the Rapiscan machines may break the law which prevents the creation of an indecent image or pseudo-image of a child.

The legislation, the Protection of Children Act 1978, could potentially have led to security officers facing criminal charges for doing their job by examining the images.

According to the Daily Mail, airport security staff had originally planned to scan children 18 and under so long as they had the parents' permission, but later decided to block the scanning of minors after appeals from a civil rights group, Action on Rights for Children

Privacy advocates have denounced the machines for generating images so graphic they are tantamount to "virtual strip-searching." In addition to advocating for the protection of travelers under age 18, campaigners have demanded that safeguards are put into place to "ensure that images from the £80,000 scanners, including those of celebrities, do not end up on the internet."

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