Development of new industry codes to better protect Australians online


Australia’s Online Safety Commissioner will present to the online industry today a plan to guide the development of new industry codes to regulate harmful online content, raising the bar for the safety of Australians in line.

After months of consultation with the industry, the results-based position paper will be presented to the industry, detailing eSafety’s expectations for the development of the new codes, providing a basis on which the industry can build. during the drafting process.

The new codes, which will operate under Australia’s new online safety law, will address issues such as the proactive detection and removal of illegal content such as child pornography, while further requiring the industry to protect users. child pornography and other harmful content.

“ESafety has worked closely with industry to ensure that robust codes are developed that provide meaningful security protections for Australians of all ages online and we will continue to work closely with them as they start the drafting process, ”eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant told eSafety. “We want the online industry to be successful because their success is our success and will help protect more Australians online.”

“The codes we have now were developed almost 20 years ago before the explosion in the use of social media, messaging apps, interactive games, live streaming and the widespread use of smart phones. With the modernization of the online security law, we are also taking a more harm-based approach to this range of issues.

“We are here to help the industry create a modern and responsive online security ecosystem that encourages the industry to proactively detect and remove the most dangerous content, because we believe that eSafety and the industry in line have an essential co-regulatory role to play. here to help keep Australians safe online.

The codes will be written by the industry and will apply to eight sections of the industry, including social media services, websites, search engines, app stores, internet service providers, device manufacturers, hosting services and electronic services, including email, messaging, gaming and dating services. .

ESafety’s position paper proposes a results-based framework, which aims to achieve proactive detection and removal of the worst of the worst Class 1 content, such as child pornography and pro-terrorism content.

It is then up to industry to come up with solutions to achieve this, in particular through technologies such as proactive monitoring of humans and machines, suspensions and deactivations of accounts, deindexing of search results and the use of forms. age insurance or parental control.

The codes will also require the industry to limit children’s exposure to pornography and other harmful content, which could be achieved through age verification and assurance mechanisms, internet filters and default secure search modes.

They will also need to put in place tools that allow users to control their own access, as well as children’s access, to harmful content.

However, if the industry is unable to establish appropriate codes, the Online Safety Commissioner has the power, under law, to declare industry standards.

eSafety will be able to receive complaints and investigate potential violations of codes or standards, and they will be enforceable through civil penalties, enforceable covenants and injunctions to ensure compliance.

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