Copenhagen Airport’s customs agents have officially asked the Danish parliament to allow them to begin using high-tech body scanning machines that give a strikingly clear image beneath the clothes. These revealing security scanners are already in use some airports around the world, and are seen as a possible replacement for old-fashioned metal detectors and pat-downs.
Copenhagen Airport officials insist that the scanners would only be used on people suspected of carrying drugs or weapons. Gitte Palmbaek, from the Taxation and Customs Agency (SKAT), told the Copenhagen Post, “I should underscore that not all passengers will be scanned – just the small fraction of a percent we suspect of being smugglers.”
Palmbaek says the old methods of using dogs to sniff out drug smugglers is not very effective since smugglers can swallow condoms filled with drugs, a method the dogs cannot detect.
Privacy groups are very concerned about implementing the high-tech body scanners, however, because they feel it will lead to profiling. “It sounds like a good idea to use them to catch drug smugglers, but experience shows that they will slowly start being used on other groups,” said Jesper Svarre of the IT-Political Association.