Movie Star Claims Heathrow Airport Staff Printed Out, Circulated, His Naked Body Images

from the privacy? dept

There's been a big push over the last couple months to get those full body scanners installed in more airports. These scanners, if you don't recall, basically create a "naked" image of the person in them. This has resulted in all sorts of (mostly reasonable) concerns about privacy (well, and dignity) of those passing through the devices. Defenders of these systems insist that the images are seen by someone remotely who can't see the person, so there's no way to connect the image to the person, and the scans are deleted immediately.

Except... perhaps that's not always true. Eric points us to the news that Indian movie star Shahrukh Khan (oddly, I just saw one of his movies) is claiming that the staff at London's Heathrow airport had not just connected his scan to who he was, but also printed it out and circulated it among some staff.

I have to admit, this one could use a bit more proof, because my understanding was that the scan itself is done in a remote location, but Khan seems to indicate that staff had the printouts almost immediately:
"I was a little scared. Something happens [inside the scans], and I came out. Then I saw these girls -- they had these printouts. I looked at them. I thought they were some forms you had to fill. I said 'give them to me' -- and you could see everything inside. So I autographed them for them," stated Khan.
I could definitely see how another security or airport staffer might alert whoever was watching the remote scans of who was passing through the scanner. The last few times I've seen these devices used in airports the other security staff had radio contact with the person watching the scans (for obvious reasons). But having multiple printouts immediately distributed? It's not clear how that would happen.

Update: Yup, as we suspected, this story appears to be bogus. Security officials are denying it ever happened, and apparently Khan has some movie coming out about being detained by airport security... so... yeah, PR stunt.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    SureW (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 1:53pm

    So I autographed them for them

    Classic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Scote, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 2:40pm

    I'm a tad suspicious of the claim of printouts as well. I can imagine that they have ways of sending the image back to the screening area since they have to have a way of telling screening personnel about positive scans, about what was detected and where, but so far I haven't heard about any of these scanners having printers attached, though it is possible.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    wheatus, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 2:41pm

    Damn

    that's PIMP

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 2:48pm

    All you need is a cellphone and a printer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    jjmsan (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 2:52pm

    Re:

    Why would they have printers at the entry areas? They probably would not be configured to have printers at the areas were the image was to appear. I think this needs a lot more proof.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    edt (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 2:53pm

    Heathrow Staff

    Hooray for the airport staff... another Hollyfool law suit...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    scarr (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 2:57pm

    Copypasted my response from elsewhere

    I, like some others, don't think this guy's story makes sense. He came out of the scanner and saw girls with a printout? How fast are these printers? They would have to be right next to the scanners too. I suspect a journalist reporting on the earlier trials would've noticed this, and/or some employee would've revealed their availability. How did he confuse a picture of himself naked for a form he had to fill out? When does security ever have you fill out forms? For that matter, when can you ever direct security to give you something at an airport?

    It's also quite a coincidence that there happen to be multiple girls working the scanner who are also fans of Bollywood films. While those chances are higher in England than here, how was he the first person/celeb this happened to in the world's second busiest airport?

    While the scanners are stupid, I doubt this is real. I think this is just an actor telling an amusing tale.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    AJ (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 2:58pm

    US vs. UK?

    If it was Homeland Security who claimed that the screener would be at a remote location, that promise can only apply to machines installed at US airports; the TSA have no jurisdiction over Heathrow Airport. The British have their own rules, which include that they can't use the scanners on children since the resulting images would then be classified as child pornography.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    anonymous, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 3:12pm

    A waste of resources.

    So to summerize, the TSA gets a new weapon in the war on terror. Yet they can't even stop their own employees from stealing things out of our checked baggage. At least now they have soft porn to look at while they're taking a break from rifling through our posessions looking for cool things to confiscate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    Sega (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 3:21pm

    Blatent propaganda for his flick

    He has a movie about being detained by TSA. He proceeds to get detained while promoting his upcoming movie. Hmm. It was on the international news headlines for a moment last summer. He is doing what hollywood does, but poorly. Just like you'd expect from Bollywood.
    I guess his detention in August 2009 wasn't enough publicity or maybe he has a sequel coming out. Techdirt, this is a non-story. I'll chalk it up to snow madness, assuming of course you are on the east coast.
    If you'd like to talk about the attention he's bringing to a more important issue, then have at it. You've done well with that before. I've always appreciated those entries.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Valkor, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 3:23pm

    Re: US vs. UK?

    Note to self: Don't take a picture of my baby in the bathtub while in the UK...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 3:29pm

    Consider the source. I have no idea whether this happened or not but its appearance on the site of Alex Jones, someone who makes Rush Limbaugh look like a little fluffy bunny with a compulsion to tell the truth, makes me doubt it immediately.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Armin, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 3:31pm

    Looks more like a publicity stunt

    It's already being denied quite strongly by the airport: Airport denies body scanner photo claim by Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan (and their response makes a lot of sense).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 3:38pm

    Re: Copypasted my response from elsewhere

    The only answer I can think of is an extreme culture of irresponsibility where some employees who were obsessive Bollywood fans had been tipped off in advance that the actor had booked a flight. But I would need a lot more evidence to accept that - and that still doesn't say much to your last point, which is an important one. After all, imagine how much money airport scans of really big stars would be worth.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    :), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 3:41pm

    Hearthrow is funny.

    I has been a while but the last time I got through the airport in London(hearthrow) you passed through some scanner then walked a looooooooooooooooooong way till you reached customs where the guy asked you some questions.

    Well I don't remember exactly but I do remember very clearly I walked a lot, is like the Los Angeles airport(or was a Texan one) where I think there is a red carpet and you walk an incredible distance till the customs once you get out of the plane.

    I can see how this can happen. Although I don't believe him.
    Mostly because the British authorities didn't try to cover up anything or came out with excuses yet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    icon
    Cohen (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 3:43pm

    tipped off in advance?

    Not hard to imagine.

    The service rep at the checkin counter could recognize his face and name and then call anyone at the airport.

    If he is a big-shot, he could have been accompanied by a service rep who would have alerted security that a VIP was going through.

    It's opening a huge can of worms with these images getting sold to tabloids.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 3:52pm

    I can't help but wonder if this is an attempt at a fake "streisand"... set up a false bad thing you don't want to get out, and make a big stink out of it, getting the media and the fans all looking for what is really a ghost.

    It reads more like someone trying to convince us that he is so hot that the people wanted to see his digitally stripped body.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    another mike (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 4:01pm

    rule 34

    'nuff said.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 4:30pm

    Re: Re:

    Why would they have printers at the entry areas?

    There are usually computer-equipped security offices nearby.

    They probably would not be configured to have printers at the areas were the image was to appear.

    That's what the camera-phone is for. The person watching the screen in area where the image appears snaps a photo of the screen with their phone and then sends that to their buddies in the security office (or someone somewhere else) who then ogle it and print it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Peet McKimmie (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 4:38pm

    Re: Heathrow Staff

    I think you'll find that's "Bollyfool"...

    I saw this (not the pictures, the interview) on "Friday Night with Jonathan Ross" last Friday. (UK BBC1) If you dig around YouTube you can probably find the full interview.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 4:41pm

    Re: Copypasted my response from elsewhere

    How fast are these printers?

    How long can it take to be released after being scanned? Surely they hold you until they've reviewed the images. How many reviewers do they have? Do people ever have to wait in a queue for their images to be reviewed?

    Also, he didn't say how long it was after he was scanned that he came upon the "girls" with the printouts. It could have been some time afterward.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 4:44pm

    Re: Re: Copypasted my response from elsewhere

    After all, imagine how much money airport scans of really big stars would be worth.

    Really big stars often fly on chartered flights so they don't have to go through all the security crap the "little people" do.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 4:59pm

    Re: Looks more like a publicity stunt

    It's already being denied quite strongly by the airport: Airport denies body scanner photo claim by Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan (and their response makes a lot of sense).

    I don't think it holds water. They claim it would be "impossible" because "the body-scanning equipment had no capability to print images", as if though that would be the only way images could be made. The camera-phone angle (covered up above) was completely ignored in their denial and there are others ways it could happen too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 5:06pm

    Re: Hearthrow is funny.

    I can see how this can happen. Although I don't believe him. Mostly because the British authorities didn't try to cover up anything or came out with excuses yet.

    BAA denies body scanner photo claim.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 5:21pm

    Re:

    "Consider the source. I have no idea whether this happened or not but its appearance on the site of Alex Jones, someone who makes Rush Limbaugh look like a little fluffy bunny with a compulsion to tell the truth, makes me doubt it immediately."

    If Alex Jones said the Earth was round would you then say it was flat?

    BTW, the story has been reported in many other places.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Blogger Bob, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 5:22pm

    Myth Buster

    This didn't happen. Please check out our latest post at the TSA Blog. http://ow.ly/163uh Thanks, Blogger Bob TSA Blog Team

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 5:35pm

    Re: Myth Buster

    This didn't happen. Please check out our latest post at the TSA Blog. http://ow.ly/163uh Thanks, Blogger Bob TSA Blog Team

    I notice how you guys parrot the claim that it couldn't happen because the machines don't have printers attached while completely ignoring the fact that they don't have to have printers attached for this to happen. Come on, if you guys are gonna spin, you're going to have to do a little better than that to be believed.

    Myth busted? Not yet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 5:41pm

    Re: Blatent propaganda for his flick

    I guess his detention in August 2009 wasn't enough publicity or maybe he has a sequel coming out. Techdirt, this is a non-story. I'll chalk it up to snow madness, assuming of course you are on the east coast.

    Er, we wrote pretty clearly that we didn't believe the story because it didn't make sense. Did you not read the post?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Ben Dover, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 6:19pm

    Smile - you're on candid camera

    There are those who claim that the naked scanner presently in use does not detect some things, like what the FruitOfTheLoom Kaboom guy had. I also read that there is an infrared scanner which will detect such things in addition to what the perv machine is capable of, it sells for much less and it does not provide perv pics of perps.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Noel Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 6:50pm

    Stooge!

    The guy's a stooge for the Taliban! LOL ;)

    Look this only undermines international efforts to find methods to combat terrorism.
    For what? ....... Free press!
    They ought to prosecute him, seeing he was willing to offer false testament.

    But how sad is the U.K. law?
    Well, it would seem that ALL the Taliban in the UK now know, you only need strap bombs to babies and children.

    Oh goody gum bombs, children are easier to recruit.

    Surely they'll need amend this via the National Securities Act. How silly.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Any Mouse, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 7:42pm

    Re: Re: Myth Buster

    Explain how you get a printout without a printer. Do they wave their magic metal detector wands? C'mon...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 8:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Myth Buster

    Explain how you get a printout without a printer. Do they wave their magic metal detector wands? C'mon...

    You can't read, for example, post #19 above? Then I'm sorry, but you're beyond my ability to explain it to you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 8:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Copypasted my response from elsewhere

    "Really big stars often fly on chartered flights so they don't have to go through all the security crap the little people do."

    Because if a terrorist wants to hijack a chartered jet and fly it into a building, apparently that's OK.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    jjmsan (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 10:36pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    and this camera phone would be able to take a picture send it to a printer in an office nearby fast enough to get large cognizable copies back to the security officers in time for him to see the pictures.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 11:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    and this camera phone would be able to take a picture send it to a printer in an office nearby fast enough to get large cognizable copies back to the security officers in time for him to see the pictures.

    Absolutely, a camera phone could do that.

    I'm not saying that is what happened in this case, just that it is entirely plausible.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    D Mac (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 12:29am

    he was joking...

    It was simply a joke story he told for laughs on a talk show. Why so many people thought he was serious is beyond me. This is getting reposted all over the internet for no reason he never expected people to take his joke seriously.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 1:46am

    Re: he was joking...

    It was simply a joke story he told for laughs on a talk show.

    Has he said so somewhere?

    Why so many people thought he was serious is beyond me. This is getting reposted all over the internet for no reason he never expected people to take his joke seriously.

    Kind of the guy who makes bomb jokes in the airport, eh?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    D Mac (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 2:12am

    Re: Re: he was joking...

    Has he said so somewhere?

    Do you watch Russell Peters and then later expect him to say he was joking? He was talking about how only people with small dicks care about those scanners and then said he signed his for the girls there, obviously jokes.

    Kind of the guy who makes bomb jokes in the airport, eh?

    Going on a talkshow and making jokes about airport security is completely different from making bomb jokes at an airport.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 3:16am

    Re: Re: Re: he was joking...

    He was talking about how only people with small dicks care about those scanners and then said he signed his for the girls there, obviously jokes.

    So you're saying he was obviously joking if he said he didn't have small penis? Please tell us, how do you know about the size of his penis?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    :), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re: Hearthrow is funny.

    You win.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    akston, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 10:11am

    Machines have technical ability to hold pics

    I haven't seen anyone post this yet, and it's probably important:

    This time, it's CNN:

    "A privacy group says the Transportation Security Administration is misleading the public with claims that full-body scanners at airports cannot store or send their graphic images.

    The TSA specified in 2008 documents that the machines must have image storage and sending abilities, the Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) said."

    http://bit.ly/8t510F

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    TSA Shill, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 10:56am

    Re: Machines have technical ability to hold pics

    Lies! All lies!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Re: US vs. UK?

    Or the US.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    JustMe (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 12:12pm

    Doesn't look like anyone has said it yet

    KHANNNNNNNNNNNN

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    icon
    D Mac (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: he was joking...

    You obviously have not watched the original interview. Obviously nor has all the people that keep reporting this rediculous "news" piece.

    Watch the interview, maybe all the laughing after each sentence he says will help you understand.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: he was joking...

    You obviously have not watched the original interview. Obviously nor has all the people that keep reporting this rediculous "news" piece.

    No, I haven't. So is that where you saw his penis?

    Watch the interview, maybe all the laughing after each sentence he says will help you understand.

    Ouch. I bet that was embarrassing for him, all those people laughing at it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This