Status: 07/29/2022 7:30 p.m.
In order to combat depictions of abuse on the Internet, the EU wants to be able to read private chats. Senior EU data protection officials are now expressing “serious concerns”. Several federal ministers had previously warned.
After the federal government, EU data protection authorities have also raised concerns about Brussels’ plans to tackle child abuse on the internet. They warned Brussels that the European Commission was planning to have private conversations spied on.
The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) and the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) announced, on the basis of a joint opinion, that they supported the aims and intentions, but that they had serious concerns about the privacy and personal data of individuals.
“Not covered by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU”
“The EDPS and the EDPS consider that the proposal as it stands may present more risks for individuals, and therefore for society in general, than for offenders,” they said. A “general surveillance of the text and audio communication of individual citizens” is “not covered by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU”.
In May, the European Commission presented a bill with which it intends to curb the spread of representations of abuse on the Internet. Civil rights organizations and other critics saw it as an attempt to scan all communications on the network, including encrypted messages, and fear mass surveillance.
Faeser warns of general suspicion against everyone
Several federal ministers had previously issued criticisms. In June, during consultations with her EU colleagues, Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser announced that she would intervene against such interventions in encrypted communications. It is important “not to place every citizen under general suspicion”, stressed the SPD politician.
Afterwards, EU states and the European Parliament will discuss the European Commission’s proposal. The two parties must then agree on a common position.