……and so it has come to pass. The ePrivacy directive kicked in on the 20th of December. This means two things – people have more privacy, a good thing and children are less safe online, not a good thing.
As explained in previous posts the ePrivacy directive coming into full force on the 20th of December means that companies who were voluntarily scanning for Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) and patterns of Grooming could interpret the change as making their scanning activities illegal.
There is an active effort to bring in a regulatory framework that will cover these voluntary actions but this will take time and so a temporary derogation for a small number of articles was requested. It is still under consideration by the EU Parliament, the EU Commission and the EU Council.
In the meantime, some companies have stood up and declared they not stop these efforts to keep children online while the political process continues. These companies are Microsoft, Google, Linkedin, YUBO and ROBLOX. Well done to all of you.
Other companies have not stood up. We don’t know what they are doing because apart from Facebook they are saying nothing.
Facebook has declared that they will switch off scanning. In a post on their blog they use a lot of language to basically say that they are choosing privacy over child safety. This is a disappointing and strange decision given that they have been to the forefront of voluntary actions in the past. At least they told us. What of other companies? The big ones?
The political process continues, here is what you can do:
Talk to your local representatives and MEPs – list here .
and if you work for or use companies who provide online services other than those listed above, ask them stopping or continuing?