European Parliament Passes Controversial 'Chat Control' Snooping Powers

European Parliament Passes Controversial 'Chat Control' Snooping Powers

BRUSSELS — Under serious criticism from privacy advocates, and during an inconspicuous late-night session, the European Parliament approved last week a controversial set of “chat control” measures making it legal for internet companies to scan all private messages by users if they claim they are looking for Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM).

However, a vast amount of legal sexual content could be misidentified by AI systems to trigger the “chat control” protocols, allowing authorities and private companies unprecedented snooping power over users’ adult content habits.

The measures are supposedly “an interim solution designed to fix problems with the European Electronics Communications Code (EECC), which came into force last December,” Forbes reported.

The EECC “barred tech companies from voluntarily looking for illegal content such as [CSAM],” but the new measures allow tech companies to “detect, remove and report such content, as part of a temporary solution lasting up to three years.”

The measures insist that the data processed will be “limited to what is necessary, and held no longer than necessary.”

“Processing must be subject to human oversight, and companies will need to consult national data protection authorities if they use anti-grooming technologies or new technologies to detect material,” Forbes continued.

A So-Called 'Compromise' That Merely Compromises Users' Privacy

EU rapporteur Birgit Sippel described the measures as “a compromise between detecting child sexual abuse online and protecting users’ privacy. It might not be perfect, but it is a workable, temporary solution for the next three years.”

Sippel did not specify what part of this "compromise" does anything to protect users' privacy.

"We now urgently need the Commission to propose a long-term solution that draws inspiration from the data protection safeguards found in the temporary rules, and which, in addition, makes scanning of private communications more targeted,” she added.

European Parliament MP Patrick Breyer, whose Pirate Party led the opposition to the measures, told Forbes that “chat control will allow email, messaging and chat providers to indiscriminately search your private messages for allegedly illegal material and report to the police, using error-prone algorithms and AI.”

"Blanket, real-time mass surveillance of all your emails and messages is inefficient, counter-productive, dangerous and causes severe collateral damage, including to children,” Breyer added.

Several other organizations “have expressed concerns that the measures could ... potentially represent an interference with the right to [privacy],” Forbes also reported.

Copyright © 2024 Adnet Media. All Rights Reserved. XBIZ is a trademark of Adnet Media.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission is prohibited.

More News

KOSA Sponsors Praise Surgeon General's Endorsement of Mental Health Labeling for Websites

The main sponsors of the controversial Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) bill this week urged fellow lawmakers to fast-track the bill, after the surgeon general called on Congress to mandate “mental health warnings” on social media platforms.

Utherverse to Launch Functional NFTs in Virtual 'Big Reveal' Event

Utherverse will officially debut its functional non-fungible tokens (fNFTs) with a virtual party within its metaverse on Thursday.

AdultPrime Debuts AI Image Generator

AdultPrime.com has introduced a new AI image-generation feature for its members.

2025 XBIZ Show Set for Jan. 13-16

XBIZ is pleased to announce that the 2025 edition of its flagship conference, the XBIZ Show, will take place Jan. 13-16 at the Kimpton Everly Hotel in Hollywood.

X's Porn-Recognition AI Survives Illinois' Biometric Privacy Law Challenge

A lawsuit filed under Illinois’ unusual state law regulating biometric data collection has taken aim at an AI program used by X since 2015 to identify nudity and NSFW images.

Byborg's Le Shaw Research Institute Teams Up With Cupcake Girls

LiveJasmin parent company Byborg Enterprises’ Le Shaw International Sexual Health and Wellness Research Institute has joined forces with U.S.-based sex worker advocacy group The Cupcake Girls.

Anti-Pornhub Attorney Expands Strategy to 'Name and Shame' Finance Companies

A legal team headed by attorney Michael J. Bowe has expanded its strategy in a series of ongoing legal actions against Aylo, over user-uploaded content on Pornhub allegedly involving minors, this time targeting finance companies that have backed or worked with the company formerly known as Mindgeek.

X3 Expo 2025 Show Dates Set for Jan. 17-18

X3 Expo organizers have announced that the event will once again take over the historic Hollywood Palladium Jan. 17-18, bringing together legions of attendees for the biggest lineup of adult stars in North America, plus a smorgasbord of dazzlingly attractions showcasing the latest innovations in titillating digital entertainment.

SextPanther Adds New Content-Tagging Feature, Revamped 'Explore' Page

SextPanther has rolled out a new content-tagging feature and a revamped version of its “Explore” page.

Court Orders xHamster to Remove Dutch Amateur Content

An Amsterdam appeals court upheld a lower court decision ordering xHamster to remove all footage featuring Dutch people who have not given explicit permission for their images to be posted.

Show More