The European Commission on Tuesday issued a report stating that full body scanners are a reliable screening method at airports. The EC says, though, that a common framework must be developed across the European Union to protect citizens’ fundamental rights and health.

“In order to end the current fragmented situation wherein Member States and airports decide ad-hoc if and how to deploy Security Scanners at airports, the use of Security Scanners must be based on common standards, requesting basic detection performance, and imposing safeguards to comply with European fundamental rights and health provisions,” the 19-page report (.pdf) submitted to the European Parliament and the Council argued.

Matthew Harwood writes that the rush to deploy to full body scanners occurred after the botched Christmas day attack when 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to detonate hidden explosives onboard a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. Unlike metal detectors, proponents of full body scanners say the technology can detect both metallic and nonmetallic threats, such as the powdered explosives carried by Abdulmutallab.

The United States has been the most aggressive in deploying the scanners that can detect threats underneath a passenger’s clothing during at an airport security checkpoint. The United States is set to deploy 950 full body screeners by the end of 2011, and about 1,800 by the end of 2014, according to DHS.

Some E.U. countries are following the U.S. example. Airports in Finland, France, Italy, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom have also deployed the machines in trial runs.

Source: Homeland Security Newswire

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