A leaked document from the European Commission (EC), the executive branch of the European Union (EU), has revealed that the artificial intelligence (AI) it plans to use to mass surveil private chats for “grooming” content is expected to falsely flag content and forward it to EU investigators 10% of the time.
This proposed mass surveillance of online chats has been dubbed “Chat Control” and is being pushed by the EC as a way to combat child sexual abuse material (CSAM). However, in a leaked document that was obtained and published by Netzpolitik, the EC admitted that its proposed surveillance measures would result in a large amount of false flags.
“The accuracy of grooming detection technology is around 90%,” the EC admitted in the document. “This means that 9 out of 10 contents recognized by the system are grooming.”
The leaked document contains the EC’s answers to a series of questions from the German government about the implementation of Chat Control.
Under the current Chat Control plans, private chats, messages, and emails will be automatically scanned by AI for suspicious content. If the AI detects suspicious content, it will be flagged and sent to investigators at a planned EU center. These investigators will view the content, identify false positives, and forward illegal content to EU law enforcement agency Europol and other relevant law enforcement authorities.
While law enforcement agencies don’t have direct access to content that’s flagged and sent to this planned EU center, the leaked document describes Europol as “one of the most important partners” for the center and adds that “close cooperation is essential.” Additionally, the document notes that it’s “important that Europol receive all reports” from the center.