European privacy authorities slam EU proposal to prevent and combat online child sexual abuse – JURIST

The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) and the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) have issued a joint opinion criticizing European Union (EU) policy Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down rules to prevent and combat the sexual abuse of children. The EDPS and the EDPS are independent privacy watchdogs in the EU.

In May, the European Commission proposed new legislation to prevent and combat online child sexual abuse, saying the current system of voluntary detection and reporting by companies was inadequate. The proposal would apply to providers of information society services: hosting services, interpersonal communication services and Internet access services.

The proposal would require providers to detect, report, remove and block known and new online child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and child solicitation (grooming) based on detection orders. The proposal also aims to establish an EU agency to implement the regulation.

The EDPS and the EDPS on Friday expressed serious concerns about the impact of the proposal on the fundamental rights to privacy and the protection of personal data. Their joint view finds a lack of legal clarity as to when and where detection orders and interference by authorities may be permitted.

In addition, watchdogs have called for provisions for grooming and analyzing audio communications to be removed from the scope of the proposal. They said the measures will allow communication content to be accessed on a general basis to detect CSAM and grooming, in breach of Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The EDPS and the EDPS find the scanning of audio communications very intrusive and disproportionate.

The watchdogs also doubt the effectiveness of blocking orders. They found that the provisions requiring decryption by internet service providers were disproportionate and undermined fundamental rights to privacy and confidentiality of communications, freedom of expression and the growth of the economy. digital.

The proposal is currently pending in the European Parliament.

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