Australia demands tech companies keep users safe - Mobile World Live

Australia demands tech companies keep users safe

09 AUG 2021

Australia’s government advanced a crackdown on cyberbullying and other forms of online abuse by opening a public consultation on fresh guidelines requiring tech companies to keep users, particularly children, safe on their platforms.

A range of measures regarding user protection are to be placed on social media and tech companies in plans detailed in the Basic Online Safety Expectations (BOSE) guidelines.

In a statement, Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher explained Australia’s eSafety Commissioner will have the power to order companies to report on how they are responding to online dangers and issue fines of up to AUD555,000 ($407,562) if they don’t respond.

Core expectations include steps to deal with cyberbullying or children accessing violent content, with companies also expected to take action to protect users from so-called “digital lynch mobs”.

Companies will also be expected to take steps to prevent children accessing restricted material and do more to prevent harmful material on anonymous accounts.

The consultation follows the government passing a new Online Safety Act in June.

Submissions are open until 15 October, with the minister to finalise the BOSE in early 2022.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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