UK's Privacy Tsar Mounts Fierce Defense of End-to-End Encryption

UK's Privacy Tsar Mounts Fierce Defense of End-to-End Encryption

The UK’s privacy watchdog has defended end-to-end encryption (E2EE) following a government campaign lobbying for a halt to further roll-outs by the likes of Meta.

The publicly funded “No Place to Hide” campaign, backed by several children’s charities, is calling for social media companies to stop implementing E2EE until they can prove children’s safety will not be put at risk as a result.

Meta’s delayed roll-out of the security and privacy-enhancing technology is now slated for 2023 for Messenger and Instagram. Its messaging platform WhatsApp already uses E2EE.

The arguments against the tech are that it blindfolds police and provides a safe haven for pedophiles to groom victims and share sex abuse material.

However, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has argued that multiple techniques and innovative approaches already exist which can help investigators – and that E2EE plays a vital role in protecting children and wider society.

“The discussion on end-to-end encryption use is too unbalanced to make a wise and informed choice. There is too much focus on the costs without also weighing up the significant benefits,” argued the ICO’s executive director for technology and innovation, Stephen Bonner.

“E2EE serves

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