The adoption of Encryption end to end in message products can make it harder to combat child exploitation. Facebook's statement to the House of Commons committee of United Kingdom it is directly related to the company's programs to locate and prevent child abuse on its platforms.
These actions include checking private messages and acting together with authorities, for example. About 3 British children are identified by Facebook as vulnerable each year to the British National Crime Agency.
Despite not being able to estimate how many exploitation cases are lost, Monika Bickert, Facebook's head of global policy management, says the adoption of cryptography may diminish the company's investigative potential. "If the content is shared and we don't have access to it, it's material that we can't report," she told the committee.
Facebook has been considering the possibility of implementing end-to-end encryption in Messenger a few years ago, but authorities in several countries reinforce the risks this poses to investigations abuse of child exploitation.
Even the chairman of the House of Commons committee, Yvette Cooper, is opposed to Facebook's adoption of cryptography. "Why is Facebook trying to introduce something that will put more children at risk, that will make it more difficult to rescue vulnerable children?" According to her, about 70% of the abuse reports collected by Facebook would be lost.
On the other hand, encryption can help to fight deadlocks such as controversies involving user privacy and the various cases of hacking and data theft recorded daily. This creates an endless debate. And there is another aspect of using encryption.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter recognizes its role in the January 6 invasion of the Capitol. Despite excluding about 70 thousand profile accounts linked to the QAnon, the social network admits that it served as a stage for inciting violence or spreading conspiracy theories.
Facebook, however, has another speech. According to Sheryl Sandberg, head of operations for the company, "for the most part, events were organized on platforms that do not have our capacity to stop hate, do not have our standards and do not have our transparency".
The question that arises is whether Facebook is really interested in the privacy and protection of users' data or would the adoption of encryption be used as an excuse to avoid holding the company accountable for situations that may occur on the platform? That is the question.
Street: The Guardian