New online safety industry codes
The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) has joined five other associations representing the online industry in Australia to release for public consultation draft industry codes designed to protect Australians from harmful content on the internet.
The Online Safety Act 2021 requires the development of codes by industry associations to regulate certain types of harmful online material such as child sexual exploitation and pro-terror material. Once finalised, the draft codes will be submitted for registration to the eSafety Commissioner.
The draft codes cover participants across eight key sections of the online industry specified in the Act, including providers of social media, messaging, search engine and app distribution services, as well as internet and hosting service providers, and manufacturers and suppliers of any equipment that connects to the internet, including smart devices and computers. Importantly, it also covers operators of all websites that can be accessed by Australian users.
Louise Hyland, CEO of AMTA, said: “Establishing Consolidated Industry Codes of Practice for the Online Industry plays an important role in creating a safer, more positive and better regulated online environment which will ensure internet users are protected from harmful online material.”
“This is particularly important in relation to children, with just under half (46%) of Australian children aged 6 to 13 estimated to have used a mobile phone in 2020 according to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), up from 41% in 2015.”
“AMTA strongly supports this initiative under the Online Safety Act 2021, and we are pleased to play our part in the collective effort that has been undertaken by Australia’s online industry associations.”
A public consultation process inviting feedback on the draft codes was launched on Thursday, 1st September 2022 with submissions able to be made through a new consultation website at www.onlinesafety.org.au, where the draft codes can be downloaded together with an accompanying explanatory paper.
Submissions on the draft can be lodged via the website and will be accepted until 2nd October 2022.
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