//Delhi airport

Delhi airport

Praveena Sharma, DNAIndia.COM November 16, 2006
    
International airport to get a security scanner that sees through  clothes.
 
BANGALORE: It’s a machine that bounces X-rays off your skin to produce a naked image of your body on a computer screen. The device’s graphic projection, from a 1.5 second scan, is meant to help security personnel detect weapons and explosives.
 
Some may cringe at the thought of being undressed by security personnel using such a machine, but it is a reality that passengers will have to get used to.
 
With the threat perception growing in India, the GMR Group’s joint-venture enterprise, Delhi International Airports Ltd (DIAL), is installing a new passenger screening machine, the body scanner, at Terminal 2. “We are on the verge of putting up a body scanner at the terminal,” a DIAL official said.
 
The move has elicited mixed reactions. Nivedita Garg, an executive with an international logistics firm, is apprehensive. “It would be an intrusion on my privacy,” she said. “I don’t know how it will be used. I would be a little insecure about it.”
 
But Navin Nair, a senior executive at a PR firm, said that if the device improves security, he would not worry much about his naked image appearing on a screen.
 
“What bugs me more is that I have chuck things away,” Nair said. “Recently, I had to throw expensive cologne away. With the body scanner, there will be no such hassles.”
 
SpiceJet vice-president, sales & planning, Sanjay Kumar said people may get touchy about the scanner, but it would be effective in reducing security risks at Indian airports. “People will benefit from it, but it could hurt some people’s sentiments,” he said.
 
A spokesman for the Central Industrial Security Force said it had mooted the plan to install the body scanner at Delhi airport. Only a shadow image would be produced, he said, and the equipment would be operated by members of the same sex. The scanner, he added, would be more ethical than feeling up people to frisk them.
 
The equipment is already in use at many airports, including Heathrow. But it has not been without controversy. The most common argument against the scanner is that it infringes on the passenger’s privacy. In the US, groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and religious organisations are fighting its implementation.
 
To soothe such privacy fears, makers of the body scanner are trying to produce a modified version that blurs out sensitive body parts. Also, to avoid the embarrassment of being scrutinised by the opposite sex, airports ensure that passengers are checked by machines operated by members of the same sex. Airports also ensure that the images are not stored.
 
No place to hide
 
The body scanner bounces X-rays off your skin to produce a naked image on a screen
 
It is meant to detect weapons and explosives
 
The machine will be installed at Terminal 2, international departures