Feb 102010
 
 February 10, 2010  Featured News, Surveillance

How many assurances have we seen that data from airport strip search scanners is destroyed immediately? A news story of February 6 by ANS suggested that this may not be the case. Indian star Shah Rukh Khan recently told BBC’s Jonathan Ross that not only did airport staff at Heathrow print out his very revealing digital images, but that he autographed copies for them:

‘I was in London recently going through the airport and these new machines have come up, the body scans. You’ve got to see them. It makes you embarrassed – if you’re not well endowed.

‘You walk into the machine and everything – the whole outline of your body – comes out.’

Khan said he did not know that the body-scans – installed in the wake of last year’s abortive Christmas Day bombing of a transatlantic flight over Detroit – showed up every little detail of one’s body.

‘I was a little scared. Something happens [inside the scans], and I came out.

‘Then I saw these girls – they had these printouts. I looked at them. I thought they were some forms you had to fill. I said ‘give them to me’ – and you could see everything inside. So I autographed them for them.’

Paul Joseph Wilson of Prison Planet picked up the story and called attention to the problem, here.

But Alastair Jamieson of the Telegraph reports that BAA has denied the story:

However, a BAA spokeswoman said the claims were “completely factually incorrect” because the body-scanning equipment had no capability to print images. She stressed that images captured by the equipment could not be stored or distributed in any form.

She also added that the scanners had only been brought into use four days before the chat show was recorded and was only used for departing passengers, making it unlikely – although not entirely impossible – that the Bollywood actor would have used them in any case.

She said there would be no investigation into his claims because they “simply could not be true”.

Khan was not immediately available for comment on the BAA denial.

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