Department for Transport consultation: Code of Practice for the acceptable use of advanced imaging technology in an aviation security environment

Introduction

  1. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (the Commission) welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Department for Transport's consultation on the Code of Practice for the acceptable use of advanced imaging technology (body scanners) in an aviation security environment.
  2. The Commission acknowledges the significant risk posed by terrorist activities, in particular in relation to air transport, and the need for government to take urgent and effective steps to protect the travelling public.
  3. The Commission has previously raised its concerns regarding implications for use of the equipment in correspondence to the (former) Home Secretary and the (former) Secretary of State for Transport, and in its submission to the Home Affairs Select Committee.
  4. The Commission questions the lawfulness of the provisions under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and Fundamental Freedoms. The Commission considers that use of the body scanners potentially breaches Article 8 privacy rights, that selection for the scanning process might be discriminatory, and the need for safeguards to be introduced to ensure that the system is operated in a lawful, fair and non-discriminatory manner.
  5. The Commission's view is that there is a serious risk that implementation of  body scanners will occur in a way that will discriminate directly or indirectly on the grounds of race or sex, in particular, and that their use will have an adverse effect on community relations.

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