S Korea to begin full-operation of body scanners in late July

16:49, July 02, 2010      

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Full-body scanners that have been installed at major airports in South Korea will begin full operation in late July, despite complaints from the nation's human rights watchdog that they infringe on personal privacy and human rights, according to local media Friday.

The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritimes Affairs said that six body scanners imported from British and U.S. firms had been set up at four airports, namely Incheon, Gimpo, Gimhae and Jeju.

The National Human Rights Commission on Wednesday called on the ministry to scrap its plan to introduce the devices that can produce naked images of passengers.

The ministry, however, asserted that privacy protection will be guaranteed because it will only scan passengers suspected of posing a threat to other travelers and airplanes, and those who are blacklisted or did not pass the preliminary security check, according to local media.

The ministry announced earlier this year to adopt full-body scanners at major airports across the country, in a bid to beef up air travel security ahead of the G20 Summit slated for November in Seoul.

The ministry also said that a majority of advanced countries, including the United States, Britain, France and Japan, have been operating body scanners as a preventive measure against the threat of airport terrorism.

Source: Xinhua


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