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Migration and Home Affairs

Detection, reporting and removal

The proposed EU legislation aims to define providers’ responsibilities when it comes to finding and reporting child sexual abuse material and grooming in the digital spaces they operate.

Most tips do not come from concerned neighbours. Abusers commit their crimes behind closed doors, but they post the evidence online. Most investigations are based on company reports. However, few companies actively search for child sexual abuse material. Mandatory reporting will give law enforcement the evidence they need. The legislation proposes setting up an EU centre to prevent and combat child sexual abuse which will receive reports from companies. The centre analyses where the abuse is happening and alerts authorities in the right EU country. It will also ensure respect for fundamental rights and uphold transparency and accountability of efforts to detect child sexual abuse.

To meet their duty to protect children, digital service providers will be able to use existing advanced, accessible technology, which will allow them to reach the required EU standards for protection and privacy safeguards.

The EU centre will maintain a database of signs that allow the detection of abuse (hashes and AI indicators) to ensure that all child sexual abuse content is correctly identified. These indicators will be checked by law enforcement of EU countries to make sure that they follow the EU definition of child sexual abuse. Making the indicators available to relevant digital service providers will be a step forward in improving the effectiveness and transparency of the detection process.

Learn more about the EU centre to prevent and combat child sexual abuse.