Google is developing a browser feature which could inadvertently make it “easier, not harder, for child abuse to take place online”, a public inquiry has heard.
A prospective version of the tech giant’s new Chrome browser will contain end-to-end encryption, William Chapman, a lawyer representing three victims of online sexual abuse, told the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).
He said this form of encryption which is also used in apps such as WhatsApp, made it “harder to block harmful content”.
“The ultimate question you have to ask is this: is it really beyond the wealth and wit of these technology companies to prevent and detect child sexual abuse on their platforms? Or is there something incompatible with their commercial objectives and their culture that makes them bridle at the necessary steps to curb this modern scourge?”