The fight against child abuse over the Internet is often hampered by data protection rules, but a joint effort between privacy authorities, financial institutions and Internet services providers can ensure significant results in line with national laws, according to a new report.
Banks, payment card companies, payment system operators and Internet service providers are invited to increase their collaboration in order to establish a true ‘coalition’ to combat child pornography, suggests the study carried out by the international law firm Allen & Overy on behalf of Missing Children Europe, the European federation of NGOs active against the disappearance and sexual exploitation of children.
The report says the coalition should cooperate with data protection authorities on a European and national level in order to avoid breaching privacy rules. In particular is advised to collaborate at the EU level with the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDSP) and mainly with the Data Protection Working Party, which brings together national privacy authorities.
This relationship is considered to be of great importance because the body “may take views which are even more in favour of data protection than the courts,” according to the report, citing a legal case where this has already occurred.
The Commission expressed immediate support to the report’s suggestion to dismantle a market whose value amounts to several billion euros and which is one of the fastest growing on the Web.
Brussels is currently studying a new set of measures to curb child pornography. Among these is the establishment of points of contact for all actors involved, such as financial institutions and Internet providers, to quickly block illegal websites and payments carried out through them.