NEW PROPOSAL ON CHILDREN IMAGERY DETECTION

Updated: Sep 26, 2019

Following August's last proposal ( https://www.eprivacy.law/post/protecting-children-or-protecting-freedom-child-imagery-detection-and-epr), on 24 September 2019, the Finland presidency held another WP TELE meeting aimed mainly at child imagery issue. Two options on how to face this delicate issue were presented:


The first suggestion is to keep the rules in Article 29, but delete point (a) of paragraph 3 and thus finally deal with the fact that interim proposal of the ePR allows the providers to continue processing electronic communications data for locating and deleting material constituting child pornography only if they have already detected the child pornography before the force of the ePR. According to the proposal, this option would also change the temporary nature of the rules as is now indicated in Article 29(4).


The second option introduces new Article 6d proposing that child pornography in electronic communications be located by providers of number-independent interpersonal communications services. The technology used by such providers would need to meet all of the following characteristics:

  • It creates a unique, non-reconvertible digital signature (“hash”) of material attached to electronic communications for the sole purpose of comparing that hash with a database containing hashes of material previously reliably identified as constituting child pornography.

  • It erases non-matching hashes of material attached to electronic communications immediately after comparison with the database.

  • It limits the rate of erroneous detection of a material constituting child pornography to at most 1 in 50 billion.

  • It does not store electronic communications data, except in the cases where material constituting child pornography has been detected by virtue of a hash.

In any case, even if met, careful consideration of the safeguards provided to ensure the proportionality of the processing should be required.


Besides the child imagery, the new Presidency document proposes certain modifications on Articles 1 to 4a and 18 to 29, which were to be discussed in the meeting as well. The full proposal is available at https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-12293-2019-INIT/en/pdf?fbclid=IwAR1qZ5BN35Hl1-PpBdosHeJuTyWyfVMvL3ncsrVNronSgn3UUW4numZtvwg

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