The Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, Guangdong Province, said Wednesday that its security check can include a pat down that can involve touching a passenger's crotch, in a response to Web users' concern over their privacy.
A Sina Weibo user named "Ximen Bu'an" said Tuesday the airport had adopted the "check the passenger's crotch" procedure at its security check. Several others said they also had a similar experience at the airport.
The Weibo posting, which had been reported some 11,000 times by late Thursday, has become a centerpiece of online debate.
While most people said it is inappropriate and uncomfortable, the airport said it is a regular part of the security check as requested by the country's civil aviation authorities.
A security check staffer with the airport said although they don't intentionally touch the passenger's private parts, they will if need be, reported the Guangzhou Daily Thursday.
"We usually do it with a detector, but we may do it gently with our hands too," said the employee.
The airport explained that they are vigilant because they have caught people hiding drugs in their bras, underpants and even inside a tampon.
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