Public Opinion is Clear: Urgent Legislation Required to Protect Children from Sexual Exploitation! Read the story

Facebook will stop scan for child sexual abuse material, what will other companies decide?

Posted on Dec 21, 2020

Last week, we told you about the good news from the LIBE Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. They voted to adopt an ‘interim regulation’ to the new EU e-Privacy law that would make it illegal for tech companies to use specialised tools to detect, remove and report child sexual abuse material on their platforms. However, because EU processes can be slow, we’re still waiting for the Parliament to give a final approval which unfortunately they won’t do until January.

While waiting for this, the process continues. Today is the deadline for the new European e-Privacy law to be changed into national legislation by the Member States. Still, there is no clarity on an interim solution to ensure that tools that detect, report and remove child sexual abuse images and videos online can continue to be used. We are, therefore, happy to see that Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Roblox and Yubo remain firm in their commitment to user safety, including children’s, by committing to continue to use these tools to protect children.

We note with dismay and concern that Facebook, the largest single contributor of child sexual abuse material reports to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and a crucial actor in efforts to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse, has taken the decision to stop using specialised tools to detect, remote and report such content on its platforms for users in the EU.

ECPAT strongly urges all tech companies to ensure that children are given the highest level of protection on their platforms.