THE EU will decide on a US request that Europe install body scanners at its airports after studies into their effects on health and privacy are completed, EU officials who have been meeting in Spain said yesterday.

Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said the European Commission was carrying out the studies into the scanners' effectiveness and possible impacts on health and privacy. “Once we have these studies on the table we will make a decision,” he told a news conference with US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano following talks with interior ministers from across the 27-nation bloc in Toledo.

The United States has accelerated the installation of body scanners at its airports since the attempted attack on Christmas Day on a jet bound for Detroit from Amsterdam, and it would like the EU to follow its lead to monitor passengers crossing the Atlantic.

Napolitano said the United States currently uses 40 body scanners at its airports and intends to have “at least 450 within the next year. Al-Qaeda has used and will use its best minds against aviation security and we must do no less,“ she added.


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