European and German data protection experts criticize the so-called chat control. Above all, they say, it violates fundamental rights and constitutes "unprovoked and widespread surveillance of private communications.

Read more about the critical voices being raised here.

The so-called chat control

The so-called chat control is a regulatory element from the current draft regulation of the EU Commission to prevent and combat the sexual abuse of children. Chat control is designed to detect abusive material and attempts at solicitation on users' terminal devices.

To this end, the draft practically calls for the elimination of end-to-end encryption, which most messaging services currently use. There have also already been loud voices in circles of the politicians involved in this Criticism.

BfDI: Chat control violates fundamental rights

The Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Information Security, Kelber, has now spoken out in the debate with the following words on the so-called chat control: "The so-called chat control offers hardly any protection for children, but would be Europe's first step towards an unconditional and comprehensive surveillance of private communications. [...] Together with my European colleagues, I am campaigning for a significant improvement of the regulation. I will continue to work hard to ensure that chat control is not implemented in this form. Germany and the federal ministries involved must now show that they uphold fundamental rights and that this is also reflected in data protection and the protection of telecommunications secrecy."

EDSA and EDPS: Chat control causes serious problems

On the subject of chat control, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDSA), together with the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), has published a Opinion published. In it, they address both the problems in the implementation of chat control and the fundamental rights issues.

The implementation of chat control breaks through encrypted communication. This poses a risk for all parties involved, as the gaps created in this way can be exploited by criminals. In addition, the evaluation of all communications is associated with a high rate of incorrect accusations. This comprehensive encroachment on the secrecy of telecommunications therefore violates the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.


BfDI, EDSA and EDPS agree on the so-called chat control: In its current form, it is simply illegal.

The BfDI demands: "Effective and targeted measures should be implemented to combat child sexual abuse. This does not include mass surveillance without any reason. Otherwise, we only know something like this from authoritarian states."

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