Source: Qantas Airlines
The Australian Government has introduced full body scanners at international gateway airports – Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Perth, Melbourne and Gold Coast – as part of its Strengthening Aviation Security Initiative.
Passengers departing Australia may be asked to pass through a body scanner. The body scanners use ‘millimetre wave technology’ as opposed to x-ray, and the Department of Infrastructure and Transport has reported that there are no known safety concerns for persons with pacemakers or any scientific evidence of any health risk for women who are pregnant.
There are some exemptions for people with serious medical conditions, infants and small children, and persons in wheelchairs; however a passenger cannot opt out of the process. Passengers who refuse to comply will not be permitted to board a flight for a period of 24 hours.
The Government has considered privacy concerns, and has made it a requirement that the scanners generate a generic ‘stick figure’ with no identifying features, and that no personal information about passengers or any individual screen scans be collected or stored.