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S&Ds call for permanent solutions to fight child sexual abuse online


06 Jul 2021


Justice & Home Affairs

Having led negotiations to allow the temporary measures for detecting, removing and reporting online child sexual abuse to continue, the S&D Group calls for permanent, targeted solutions in future laws to fight this abhorrent crime. 

MEPs are today voting on a temporary derogation to the E-Privacy Directive that allows online communication service providers to continue using technology to detect harmful materials in emails, chat and messages. Negotiations are currently taking place to make the EU’s e-privacy laws binding in all EU member states by turning it into a comprehensive regulation.

As part of the temporary derogation, the S&D Group fought to ensure users’ privacy is protected by ensuring they are properly informed about the possible scanning of emails, chat and messages.

Birgit Sippel MEP, European Parliament negotiator and S&D spokesperson on justice and home affairs, said:

“Child sexual abuse is a horrible crime and we have to do more to prevent it, to prosecute offenders and to support survivors. To prevent the spread of online child sexual abuse material and stop grooming online, the European Parliament is voting to allow a temporary continuation of certain voluntary measures for detecting online child sexual abuse, for removing it and for reporting it to law enforcement authorities and organisations representing children’s interests. During the negotiations, Parliament ensured that the text of the derogation aligns with current data protection laws in the EU. We also added safeguards like better informing the user about the possible scanning of communications, clear data retention periods and limitations to the technology that can be used. However these are not permanent measures and we are keen to start legislating on a future regulation on fighting child sexual abuse online to replace this interim solution, while ensuring even more targeted solutions.”



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