In response to rising criticism, the European Commission has recently issued a non-paper to defend its legislative initiative aimed at combating child sexual abuse material (CSAM). The proposal would empower judicial authorities to require internet platforms such as WhatsApp and Gmail to deploy automated scanning systems in order to locate any potentially illicit content and signs of grooming behaviors targeted at minors.
Despite its good intentions, the proposed legislation has garnered substantial pushback due to its potential infringement upon fundamental rights. This concern has been echoed by key players, including the European Data Protection Supervisor, an external evaluation from the European Parliament, and a legal review conducted by the EU Council’s technical body. In light of this, the European Commission has sought to clarify their position on the matter while advocating for safeguards that protect the privacy of all users.