Microsoft has announced that it will continue to deploy technology to make the internet a safer place. The announcement comes as the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) enters into force extending legal protection for confidential communications data in EU member states.
Under the new EU rules, it could prevent tech firms from scanning online messages; this could hinder firms scanning for child sexual abuse material according to the Internet Watch Foundation.
In a joint statement with Google, LinkedIn, Roblox, and Yubo, Microsoft said that the European Union (EU) is still figuring out regulation that would still allow for the detection, removal, and reporting of child sexual abuse material online, but in the meantime, Microsoft and the other firms plan to honour their safety commitments.
Responding to the joint statement, Chief Executive of the Internet Watch Foundation Susie Hargreaves OBE said:
“This is a stunning example of getting legislation wrong and having a potentially catastrophic impact on children.
We wholeheartedly applaud the stance taken by these companies who are really going the extra mile to protect children. Keeping children safe on, and offline, has to be everyone’s priority, and we must never lose sight of this.”
It’s not clear what type of legal hot water the previously mentioned companies could get into for defying the new laws. Hopefully, they can work with the EU to swiftly get suitable rules in place to remove child sexual abuse material.