Many major Australian airports will be getting full-body scanners in December 2012. Passengers will be randomly selected for screening with these scanners and will not be able to opt out unless they have a medical reason.
The scanners are already in use at Brisbane and Perth and will be installed in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Darwin, Cairns and the Gold Coast by the end of December.
However, the good news (?) is that these scanners use active millimeter-wave technology which is different than the reportedly more hazardous X-ray backscatter technology used in US airports’ full body scanners.
Another big difference is that these scanners show stick figures – and not the body outline – on screener displays, with a yellow square overlaid on any suspicious object.
For a “hassle-free” scanner experience, travelers are advised to remove all objects, including non-metallic objects from their pockets.
The Australian Government Department of Infrastructure and Transport released a handy guide and FAQ addressing the health and privacy concerns of passengers regarding these scanners.