German protesters have demonstrated against the planned introduction of body scanners at airports by stripping down to their underwear and, in some cases, beyond.
The group of protesters, calling itself a 'Fleshmob', converged on Germany's Berlin-Tegel airport this week, writing messages on their bodies and handing out leaflets voicing their concerns about the new scanners' invasion of privacy.
The scanners have been branded "virtual strip searches" because they see though clothing, producing a ghostly naked image.
The 'Fleshmob' posted a video of their protest on YouTube, which featured them walking through the airport with a variety of protest slogans written on their bodies.
“Something to hide?” and “Be a good citizen - drop your pants” were among the slogans written in German.
The rush to full-body scanners comes in response to a failed aircraft bombing attempt in the US on Christmas Day, when a passenger allegedly secreted explosives in his underwear.
Canberra is awaiting a departmental report into trials at Australian airports, while Britain and other European countries have committed to their introduction, or have already done so.
Australia's Privacy Commissioner, Karen Curtis, said her officers had inspected body scanners during Australian trials and she understood scanned images would not be recorded and were, therefore, "unlikely to be considered personal information under the Privacy Act".
"My office will … ensure that if these technologies are implemented that privacy concerns are appropriately addressed," she said.
In the UK, there have been complaints that scanners breach child porn laws.
Officials have tried to alleviate concerns by point out that faces are obscured in the scans and that the images cannot be stored.
However, American privacy advocates say they have obtained documents that state that the body scans can be stored and sent, despite the official claims.
- with Andrew Heasley.