While some defend the installation of these devices as an extreme image control measure, others are considering alternative and less privacy violating ones.
According to Angel Rodriguez, Dean of Constitutional Law at the University of Malaga, the risk of terrorist attacks on flights is “real”, which means that adopting security measures is necessary.
He is in favour of installing body scanners at airports if it can be proven they are efficient and that there is a “sufficiently understandable” regulation on passenger obligations as well as image control, visualization, storage, and later deletion.
Up to date, the security measures in place at airports are “very bothersome, but not discriminatory”, although if only used in certain cases “then the discriminatory factor will have been introduced” said Rodriguez.
He insisted on that although the use of body scanners “undoubtedly clashes with privacy and constitutional rights, these are by no means absolute.”
“The more invasive the procedure, the more controls will have to be established” the dean said. He also thinks that the use of the devices will have to be regulated by an organic law.
On the other hand, Maria Luisa Balaguer, Dean of Constitutional Law at the University of Malaga is against the use of body scanners, although she knows they will eventually be installed “because all other rights must be sacrificed in favour of safety, and people will happily accept that”.
Balaguer says that it is possible to implement other measures to improve security, but it is “easier to attack individual rights” which makes the “government assume a police role”.
She recalls how after the 11-S attacks, the United States started to adopt new security measures in airports which have been automatically copied by other countries.
In her opinion “it does not matter that the images are destroyed after three days” because the right to intimacy has already been violated.
The debate on the implementation of these devices has been rekindled in the EU since after the unsuccessful attack on the Amsterdam flight to Detroit.
In some European countries such as France, Holland, and the UK advertising the use of these devices to reduce the risk of a passenger embarking with explosives has given rise to complaints by human rights associations.
A few days ago, the Spanish Minister for Public Works and Transport, Jose Blanco, said that “the use of body scanners in airports will be inevitable” in order to ensure the safety of passengers, although always within the boundaries of respecting their intimacy.