(For those interested in the details: Ranty's boobs are smaller. But only slightly).
I am happy to report that I caused a bit of a fuss at Schiphol on Tuesday morning.
I went to the gate (D6) to clear security for my Aberdeen flight. As I handed the wifey my boarding card I saw people merrily leaping into the full body scanner. I said, "I'm not going in that thing. Is there an option of a pat down?". She said, "Ask the security guy".
I walked over and he, a strapping bloke of around 6' 8", said "Just step into the scanner please".
"No", says I.
"Erm, what?", says he.
"I am not going in there. They aren't safe. And they violate my privacy. What are my options?".
"They are perfectly safe", he says, "They use sound waves. This does not use back-scatter technology".
"I don't care what it uses. I am am not going in".
"Okay", he says, still being pretty friendly, "Come through the normal one and I will pat you down".
I go through, no alarms go off, and he pats me down. Gives me the all clear and shows me how this "new" scanner works as someone comes through. "It's harmless" he opines.
I said I would research the machine, made by L3.
Meanwhile, about seven people were now lining up to come through the old style x-ray jobbie. "No, no" says the big guy, "You must use the scanner".
Like meek little lambs the queue shifts to come through the full body thing.
Stood my ground and got what I wanted. I was prepared for the worst, which would have been to wait four hours for the next flight and hope that it was at a gate that didn't use these invasive machines. If not, I would have waited longer.
NOTE: Visitors to Spidey's blog will know that I have re-used my comment to create this post. I also nicked his picture.
As a result of Richards comment, I did some digging. Not as simple as you would imagine. Statutes are written in a language that looks similar to English, but it isn't. Using keywords to search a document would be easy enough on any other website, but this is a government website so it is as complex as it is frustrating. I read through the entire Act, which is made up of 12 pages of guff and I still could not find anything related to body scanners that Manchester Airport insisted was there.
Anyhoo, I found a document here, which, like all statutes/statutory instruments, contradicts itself. (I did NOT find this as an amendment to the existing Act. Just in a Word document. So it could well be meaningless).
This is on page 7:
"Communications will be available at the security screening area to inform passengers that “For the benefit of all passengers' security, passengers may be required to be screened using body scanning equipment. Screening will be conducted by security officers acting on behalf of the airport operator. Images of passengers will not be saved.” Airport operators must provide to persons selected for screening the opportunity to provide details of their age, gender, race, ethnic origin and religion or beliefs." (Emphasis is mine).
FFS, say no.