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Dubai Airport rejects full body scanners

Dubai Airport
Credits-Flickr/B10m

Dubai Airport authorities have rejected the use of controversial full-body scanners at the Emirates' airports as they violate ethical principles relevant to the Islamic culture. In addition to raising a number of questions pertaining to ethical concerns, the device will encroach upon the passenger personal privacy, not acceptable by many. "The use of such a device violates personal privacy and it raises a very sensitive issue for passengers, in addition to the fact that it does not complement our national ethics," Dubai airport security chief Brig Ahmed bin Thani has said.

"The acquisition of such devices is based on the decision of every member state of the ICAO and is not a mandatory measure instructed by them," he said.

Bin Thani asserted that sufficient security measures have been taken care of at the airport to keep the travellers safe and if required they may install face detection technology in the future to further enhance safety measures.

Controversial issues have cropped up in the US addressing full body scans as security staff at the airport get to view an X-Ray image of the passenger through the  scanner. The device is able to see through the clothing to the outer layer of the skin with a special software that masks certain body areas. Although the need for a pat down search is eliminated, passengers, especially women are bound to feel uncomfortable during full body scans. Currently, a pat down search has been offered as an option at US airports.

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rules in favor of the technology with full-body scanners installed at many US, Canadian and European airports with 1,000 scanners due to be operational in the US by 2011.

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