Under draft legislation which was published on Monday, Australia decides to make social media companies take parental consent for all the user who’ll the under the age of 16. Not just that, they are also going to charge hefty fines of up to 10 million Australian dollars ($7.5 million) to those companies which fail to comply.
As per Online Privacy Bill, all the Social media companies, like Reddit, which is an anonymous platform, also some online dating apps like Bumble, etc. have also been asked to take all required steps to determine their users’ age and priortize children’s interests while collecting data.
The new rules that are proposed will make Australia stand out and make it one of the most stringent countries in terms of age controls frol social media, and build on efforts to rein in the power of Big Tech, following mandatory licensing payments for media outlets and plans to toughen laws against online misinformation and defamation.
This month, Facebook faced a lot of things and anger from US lawmakers after an ex employee and whistleblower disclosed thousands of documents to congressional investigators about the concerns the company had harmed children’s mental and stoked societal divisions.
“We are ensuring [Australians’] data and privacy will be protected and handled with care,” said Attorney-General Michaelia Cash in a statement.
“Our draft legislations means that these companies will be punished heavily if they don’t meet that standard,” she added.
Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention David Coleman said the “leak of Facebook’s own internal research demonstrates the impact social media platforms can have on body image and the mental health of young people”.
Mia Garlick, who is Facebook’s director of public policy in Australia and New Zealand, said in a statement that the company was reviewing the proposed law and understood “the importance of ensuring Australia’s privacy laws evolve at a comparable pace to the rate of innovation and new technology we’re experiencing today”.
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, a privacy watchdog, would be given full investigation and enforcement powers under the draft law, with the ability to fine a company up to ten million Australian dollars, ten percent of its annual turnover, or three times the financial benefit of any breach.