The European Union introduced a bill that obliges Meta and Google to detect and remove such content in order to prevent child abuse and pornography on the internet.
In 2020, more than 1 million child abuse reports were received in 27 countries around the world. Although these harassment incidents are physically prevented, child abuse continues to increase on the internet, unfortunately. It is getting harder and harder to prevent these ‘online harassment’ incidents, which increased by 67% with the pandemic.
Wanting to put a stop to these increasing harassment cases, the European Union Commission asked Google and Meta to find and delete content and conversations containing harassment and child pornography. Stating that companies that do not remove these contents will confiscate 6% of their annual income, EU officials stated that everything necessary must be done for this to happen. Google and Meta officials, on the other hand, expressed their concerns about this situation.
End-to-end encryption may be a thing of the past!
This system, which is stated in the draft law published today, will replace the system previously named ‘Voluntary detection and notification’. According to this system, Google and Meta will, if necessary, detect and block child abuse and pornographic content, ignoring user privacy. In the draft law published, “The proposed rules make it mandatory for online service providers to detect and remove risky content (child abuse and pornography) in their systems.” was included.
WhatsApp, the sub-company of Meta, which will be affected by the system, announced that they refrained from this decision. Will Cathcart, manager of the popular messaging app, said in a tweet, “It‘s really disappointing that EU regulations ignore end-to-end encryption.”
A spokesperson for Meta said, “We plan to maintain end-to-end encryption of user’s messages and information while enforcing these sanctions. End-to-end encryption ensures that the information of billions of people , including children, is protected.” He explained that necessary steps will be taken.
In order for the draft law to become law, EU countries must support this decision and enact it jointly.