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There are a lot of EU laws about travelling through airports. We've all seen the signs about asking for your rights. So is there any EU law about body scanners? Is there an EU law that says I am always allowed to refuse to use them?

I'm not talking about traditional X Ray machines metal detectors , I have no problem with them, but the newer sub-millimetre "naked" machines.

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You'd be strongly advised to refuse if anyone at an airport wants you to go through an X-ray machine. Terrahertz is at least harmless. – CMaster Feb 8 at 15:36
I think you mean metal detectors, only hand luggage goes through x-ray machines at security – blackbird57 Feb 8 at 16:29
I've a had a few hand searches in Europe which were really quite invasive. So you basically have the choice between having your privates looked at or manually handled and squeezed. Pick your poison. – Hilmar Feb 8 at 17:41
Remember its "opting out" not "refusing" – Raystafarian Feb 8 at 19:52
Pre-Snowden I was silent as I thought I am in tin foil territory but no longer: how hard would it to exfiltrate data from these scanners without the agents on spot knowing? And to put a name on the scans, how hard would it be to run a facial recognition against the database of people who, per the manifests, are expected to be in that machine at that time? Bonus question: what do you know actually what those scans can show, beyond what the agents see there? – chx Feb 9 at 0:43
up vote 38 down vote accepted

The EU policy is crystal clear:

passengers must be given the possibility of opting out from a security scanner. In this case the passenger shall be screened by an alternative screening method including at least a hand search;

The UK government attempted to resist opt outs going so far in 2010, per this Guardian article

Earlier this month two women, one a Muslim, became the first people to be barred from boarding a flight at Manchester airport because they refused to go through a full-body scanner.

but as of November 22, 2013 you can opt out at every UK airport as well.

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The UK "opt out" is a bit of a palaver. The Home Office resented its introduction into domestic law and has done all it can to make it unenjoyable. Heathrow in particular is instructed to make your journey very miserable if you insist on opting out---expect it to take about an hour. At one point you had to fill in a form. All your bags will be hand searched as will anyone travelling with you. – Calchas Feb 10 at 2:26

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