On Wednesday Parliament backed prolonging an exemption to EU privacy rules facilitating the detection of child sexual abuse material online until 3 April 2026. With 469 in favour, 112 against and 37 abstentions, MEPs endorsed a temporary extension of the current e-Privacy derogation that allows the voluntary detection, by internet platforms, of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online.

The derogation will be extended until 3 April 2026 so that an agreement on the long-term legal framework to prevent and combat child sexual abuse online can be reached. At the same time, reporting on the voluntary measures companies have taken to find CSAM will be harmonised. According to the Commission, the reporting has so far been inconsistent, making it difficult to assess the impact of the current law.

Rapporteur Birgit Sippel (S&D, Germany) said: “Child sexual abuse is a horrible crime and we need to prevent its spread online. For this reason, we have agreed to extend the derogation that allows some companies to use technology to detect online child sexual abuse material. However, we have set a tight deadline for the expiration of the interim regulation as a means of applying pressure on the Council to adopt a position on the permanent regulation. One-off fixes are never as good as permanent measures. The Council needs to get round the table and reach an agreement with MEPs on permanent rules.”

Source: European Parliament

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