Yet British tests have surfaced a problem with current child protection laws. The authorities say that the new machines speed up security checks by quickly revealing any concealed weapons or explosives. Passengers no longer have to remove their coats, shoes and belts as they go through security checks.
”This scanner completely takes away the hassle of needing to undress. The images are not pornographic and they cannot be stored or captured in any way,“ said Sarah Barrett, head of customer experience at the Manchester airport. Despite such reassuring words, British authorities are faced with a real problem: scanned images of young people (under the age of 18) break the child pornography law.
For the moment, the solution is to avoid scanning underage passengers. In case of children travelling with their parents, the adults are also allowed to refuse to be scanned. However, since each scanner costs 90.000 around Euros, making them optional would mean to throw away big money at least until there’s a change in public perception.