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European Union Rejects US Demands on Body Scanners

EU President Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba announced today that European countries would not rush to install body scanners as the United States has urged. He said that there will first be studies to determine whether the devices "are effective, do not harm health, and do not violate privacy." The European countries have agreed that they will adopt a unified position on the body scanner proposal. European Minister Viviane Reding stated that "Europe's need for security cannot justify an invasion of privacy. Our citizens are not objects: they are human beings." Previous post-9/11 disputes between the US and the EU have involved the transfer of Passenger Name Records and financial information. The European position in the current dispute is strengthened by the recent adoption of the Lisbon Treaty and the entry into force of the Charter of Fundmental Rights. EPIC has scheduled a press conference at the National Press Club on January 25 on "Body Scanners and Privacy.” For more information, see EPIC: Whole Body Imaging Technology.

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