Protecting privacy by improving encryption on messaging services has a negative side as it makes it more difficult to catch paedophiles. British home secretary Priti Patel is accusing Facebook of not considering such aspects when it is adopting new security measures, British media reports. She is urging Facebook to re-think plans for all messaging on its platforms to be end-to-end encrypted
“We cannot allow a situation where law enforcement’s ability to tackle abhorrent criminal acts and protect victims is severely hampered,” Priti Patel says joining The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) that has claimed that private messaging “is the frontline of child sexual abuse”.
Encrypting messages by default could lead to the easier spread of child abuse imagery or online grooming, the organization says.
NSPCC argues that the society needs a more balanced discussion about the importance of privacy and protection.
Today, Facebook’s messaging platform WhatsApp has end-to-end encryption by default. The company has announced it plans to make end-to-end encryption the norm also on Facebook Messenger and Instagram.
When messaging platforms are not end-to-end encrypted, tech platforms can use automatic scanning of posts to identify the sharing of known child abuse images.