“Love those gigantic tits” remark lands airport scanner operator in hot water

Well, that didn’t take long did it? A mere month after London Heathrow introduced full body scanners, the first harassment case is already being investigated by the authorities.

When 29 year old Jo Margetson accidentally walked through the scanner, an airport security guard thought it would be hilarious to mention how he “loved those gigantic tits”. This was of course the situation everyone feared – I’m just surprised it took this long to happen.

The security guard has been issued a warning for sexual harassment, which will no doubt be the first of many to be issued to people that have access to the scanner images.

Miss Margetson is furious about the incident – ‘I can’t bear to think about the body scanner thing,’ she said. ‘I’m totally traumatised by it.”. She spoke to the police after the incident, and they in turn reported the case to BAA, the airport operator.

In the United States, the full body imagers are monitored by staff in a remote location, and we have been assured that images will never be shared – even though the purchase requests made by the government requested scanners that have storage and sending capabilities. In other words – it is only a matter of time till US airports are faced with similar cases.

The problem with this equipment is not the technology – which has been proven to work just fine – humans are the real issue, and knowing that some of the operators manning the checkpoints are going to be on the lookout for “big tits” won’t help the public’s attitude towards them one bit.

(Photo: Getty Images)

Child pornography law may put an end to UK airport x-ray machine plan

In the US, full body imaging machines met fairly little resistance. Of course, when something is being done in the name of anti-terrorism, people tend to just go with the flow.

In the UK, similar machines are not being accepted that easily. Manchester airport is the first in the UK to install the machines, and the airport authority issued the same kind of reassuring statements as in the US. Screens will be in a locked room, images will not be stored, and access to the screening equipment is limited.

Those arguments are not enough to satisfy UK civil rights groups. One group has a very strong reason to be against the machines – they are against the law. The UK Protection of Children Act prohibits any kind of naked images being made of children, including those made with backscatter x-ray equipment. Exceptions are only in place for medical imaging.

The images made by these machines are very clear, and show every detail of your body, including your genitals.

According to the group “Action on Rights for Children”, the law is so clear, that the airport won’t stand a chance of changing it. At the moment, the airport has had to cease screening children with the new equipment.

So, what do you think? Personally I think the risk of a screening agent taking photos of the x-ray monitor with his or her (camera) phone is too great to accept any of their reassuring words. I’m not afraid of photos of my willy showing up somewhere, but I’ll not accept the risk of that happening to my child.

I’m sure the vast majority of TSA employees are loyal and trustworthy people, but the risk of running into one bad apple is just too much. Sooner or later someone will violate our trust, and photos of naked children will show up online.