Poll: Most Adults In U.S., Europe, China Say Full Body Scanners Should Be Introduced In Airports

A new Financial Times/Harris Poll of adults under 65 finds support for increased security measures after the attempted bombing of a plane on Christmas Day. Majorities of those surveyed in the United States (64 percent), Great Britain (62 percent), Italy (58 percent), France (58 percent), and Germany (53 percent) as well as 46 percent of Spaniards and 44 percent of Chinese all agree that body scanners that X-ray the full body should be introduced at airports.

These are some of the findings of a Financial Times/Harris Poll conducted online by Harris Interactive among 7,256 adults aged 16-64 in France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain and the United States, adults aged 18-64 in Italy and adults aged 18-60 in China between February 3 and 10.

The support changes depending on country for other security measures. Seven in ten Italians (71 percent), two-thirds of Chinese (67 percent), over three in five Spaniards (63 percent), half of French adults (50 percent), just under half of Germans (48 percent) and 43 percent of Britons all agree that governments should increase security checks in public places such as parks, shopping centers, and other places where large groups gather. Americans are more divided. While two in five (40 percent) agree with this idea, 35 percent do not and one-quarter (26 percent) neither agree nor disagree.

The public is more divided when it comes to the amount of surveillance of individuals by the government already. Two in five Spaniards (40 percent), French adults (39 percent), Britons (39 percent), and Germans (38 percent) agree there is too much surveillance by governments. Two in five Italians (38 percent) feel there is not too much surveillance. Among the Chinese, while 34 percent agree there is too much surveillance already, 22 percent disagree and over two in five (43 percent) neither agree nor disagree. Americans are the most split on this issue. Just over one-third (35 percent) feel there is not already too much surveillance by the government while 32 percent agree there is and 33 percent neither agree nor disagree.

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