The EU is planning a law requiring technology companies to do more to combat Reuters child abuse

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson Holds Press Conference Following EU High Level Forum on Protection of Vulnerable Afghans, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium, 7 October 2021 Stephanie Lecocq / Po

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Union plans to pass a law in the coming months that will require technology companies to do more to combat child sexual abuse by stepping up existing voluntary arrangements, a senior official said in a news interview.

EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson told Germany’s Welt am Sonntag that internet service providers and social media companies reported 22 million crimes related to child sexual abuse in 2020, compared to 17 million in 2019.

But she said it was only a fraction of the actual number.

“I will propose a law in the coming months that will require companies to detect, report and eliminate child sexual abuse,” Johansson said.

“A voluntary report will then no longer be enough.”

Under current EU rules, social media networks and mail and messenger services such as Facebook (NASDAQ 🙂 and Google (NASDAQ 🙂 have a choice of whether or not to monitor violations.

Johansson said the fight against juvenile abuse should be better coordinated and that a specialized European center is needed to improve prevention, law enforcement and victim support.

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