Australia Plans to Force Parental Consent for Minors on Social Media


Australia has threatened social media companies with fines of up to AUD 10 million (about Rs 55 crore) for users under the age of 16 and internet platforms to obtain parental consent under draft legislation published on Monday. is planned.

Social media companies, including anonymous forums such as reddit and smartphone dating apps like bumbleThe Online Privacy Bill states that it will also be required to take all reasonable steps to determine the age of users and prioritize the interests of children while collecting data.

The new proposed rules would put Australia among the most stringent countries in terms of age controls for social media, and on the power of Big Tech after plans to tighten laws against mandatory license payments for media outlets and online misinformation and defamation Will make efforts to rein in it. .

Facebook faced the wrath of US lawmakers this month after a former company employee and whistleblower handed over thousands of documents Congressional investigators worry the company may harm children’s mental health and foster social divisions – a development cited by Australian lawmakers on Monday.

“We are ensuring (Australian) data and privacy will be protected and handled with care,” Attorney-General Michaelia Cash said in a statement.

“Our draft laws mean that if these companies don’t meet that standard, they will be severely punished,” he said.

“Leaks from Facebook’s own internal research suggest the impact the social media platform can have on body image and the mental health of young people,” said David Coleman, assistant minister for mental health and suicide prevention.

Facebook’s director of public policy in Australia and New Zealand, Mia Garlick, said in a statement that the company is reviewing the proposed legislation and “the importance of ensuring Australia’s privacy laws develop at a rate comparable to the rate of innovation and new technology.” Understands the importance of doing ‘Experiencing today’.

Under the draft law, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, a privacy watchdog, would have full investigative and enforcement powers, with the ability to fine a corporation up to AUD 10 million (about Rs 55 crore), 10 per cent of its annual turnover, or up to three times Will be Financial benefit of any breach.

© Thomson Reuters 2021