China airports’ new security scanners can detect what’s under your clothing
CHINA’S AIRPORTS are continuing to adopt and embrace new technology that will speed up the process of going through airport security.
As it is, 557 security channels at 62 Chinese airports are already using facial recognition to make it quicker for people to check-in and go straight to the security channels.
According to China’s Civil Aviation Administration, the country’s airports will use security scanners with millimeter wave imaging.
The scanner is a full-body imaging device that can detect objects concealed underneath a person’s clothing using a form of electromagnetic radiation.
It can identify an object’s shape, size, and position – including nonmetallic objects. This means it includes hump, bumps, and lumps that are on a person’s body.
Other airports that currently use millimeter wave scanners include those in the US, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Australia, Korea, and Japan.
Millimeter wave scanners come in two varieties: active and passive.
Active scanners direct millimeter wave energy at the subject and then interpret the reflected energy. Passive scanners create images using only ambient radiation and radiation emitted from the human body or objects.
Both types of devices are harmless to people’s health, with much less electromagnetic radiation of a mobile phone.
However, there have been privacy issues. In the past, people were concerned about the use of this technology for the fear of it displaying “more than it should”, such as prosthetics and colostomy bags.
Critics called the images “virtual strip searches” while pilots and passengers say it violates a person’s rights.
The US Congress later prohibited the display of detailed images and required the display of metal and other objects on a generic body outline.
The country’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has also claimed that the images captured by the machines will not be stored.
However, reports of images being improperly and illegally saved and disseminated continue to emerge.
Meanwhile, China’s Civil Aviation Administration has conducted several experiments in airports in Beijing, Shanghai, and Qingdao, Shandong province to test the imaging devices last August.
In May, the administration conducted a second test in airports in Qingdao and Nanjing to evaluate the efficiency of security inspections using the devices.