Australia is forcing social media companies to strive for parental approval for underage users under the age of 16, if not paying plans in millions, in a bill released on Monday.
According to a press release, the ordinance was designed to protect Australians on the internet, ensuring that the country’s privacy rules are relevant in the digital age.
The country has decided to crack down on online advertisers, targeting children by creating social media forums to seek parental consent from users.
Social networking sites will be forced to adopt sufficient measures to determine and confirm the age of their users under a mandatory ordinance, framed for the social networking platform, data brokers and various major forums in line operating in the country.
The report claims that the directed enactment known as the Online Privacy Protection Bill would also give crucial consideration to the promising interests of children while administering and regulating their private data. The law will order forums to acquire parental permission for users under the age of 16.
The new code will encourage the public to detain minors from social media companies, proclaimed David Coleman, Deputy Minister of Australia’s Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.
He further said there was a steady increase in traces of distress and mental illness among young people and children before the COVID-19 pandemic. There are several complex reasons for this and social media is a big factor among them, he acknowledged.
These security measures were taken in light of statements from former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen. Disclose that the company’s practice of preferring profits over stocks, which poses a threat to user safety, claiming that the tech giant will decide its interests anyway.
Facebook’s regional director of public policy, Mia Garlick, confessed their forum called for Australia’s privacy ordinances to evolve with modern technology.
In addition, she said they are evaluating the bill and dialogue document released on Monday and plan to continue working with the Australian government.
Read more: Frances Haugen testifies with charges and evidence against Facebook’s lack of security before Committee in London