(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The majority of people in Germany would agree with the use of full-body scanners at airports to examine all passengers, according to a poll by Forsa published in Stern. 63 per cent of respondents support relying on the scanners, while 31 per cent are opposed.

On Dec. 25, Nigerian national Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to detonate explosives hidden in his underwear during a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. Abdulmutallab has been charged with attempting to blow up an aircraft, placing a destructive device on an aircraft, attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, and attempted murder of 289 people.

The incident has prompted calls for increased security measures in airports across the globe, including the use of full-body scanners that produce a three-dimensional outline of a passenger’s body, revealing concealed items. Critics have claimed that this type of device would not have been able to detect the explosives carried by Abdulmutallab, and have also expressed concerns related to privacy rights.

The German government is considering testing the scanners for future use.

On Jan. 10, activists from the pan-European Pirate Party—which advocates for privacy rights in the digital era—stripped down to their underwear at the Berlin-Tegel airport to protest the potential implementation of full-body scanners. The self-described “flesh mob” sang slogans against what they called the “naked scanners.”

Polling Data

Do you support or oppose the use of full-body scanners at airports to scan every passenger before all flights?

Support 63%
Oppose 31%
Not sure 6%

Source: Forsa / Stern
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,000 German adults, conducted on Dec. 29, 2009. Margin of error is 2.5 per cent.