Combatting child sexual abuse online

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EESC opinion: Combatting child sexual abuse online

Key points

  • The EESC agrees, in general, with the proposed regulation for a temporary and strictly limited derogation from Articles 5(1) and 6 of the Directive 2002/58/EC which protect the confidentiality of communications and traffic data. However, the provisional element (until 31 December 2025) is not justified and the European Commission (EC) should ensure proper privacy safeguards for children are developed and implemented sooner than five years.
  • In terms of industry standards for reporting and transparency envisaged in the Art 3(e) of the proposed regulation, the EESC considers being useful to have a third party performing regular testing/auditing using a sample non-CSAM (Child Sexual Abuse Material) match similar to EICAR test file in the anti-virus industry. The EC should organize an open competition with a substantial prize to encourage not only the development of open source tools and industry standards, but also the development of new possible solutions to detect and report child sexual abuse in end-to-end encrypted electronic communications. The EESC believes that it is the time for the European Union to have its own European Centre to Prevent and Counter Child Sexual Abuse and requests the EC to urge the setting up and development of the centre.