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Australia Considers New Privacy Rules to Protect Children on Social Media

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Michaelia Cash, Australias attorney general.

Australia's attorney general Michaelia Cash said social media companies need more oversight.

Credit: Mick Tsikas/Shutterstock

The Australian government has released draft legislation that would enable the creation of a binding online privacy code for tech companies that would prohibit social media companies like Facebook from directing children to harmful content.

Under such a code, social media companies would be required to ensure children's best interests are the primary consideration during the collection, use, and potential disclosure of their personal information.

It also would require social media platforms to obtain parental approval to create accounts for children under 16.

The legislation is expected to be introduced in Australia's parliament early next year, and if passed, Australia's privacy regulator would oversee the development of a code within 12 months, with input from the tech industry.

Companies found to violate the code could be fined 10% of their annual Australian revenue.

From The Wall Street Journal
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