26 September 2023

Online industry brought into line

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The eSafety Commission has taken another step forward towards developing new online industry codes designed to protect Australians from suffering harms online.

Entering the next phase by providing detailed feedback on the latest industry draft, eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said the new codes will require industry to take reasonable steps to detect and remove illegal content like child sexual exploitation material, while at the same time taking greater responsibility to shield children from harmful content.

Ms Inman Grant said that as part of development process, eSafety had been working with industry to ensure the codes protect Australians of all ages online.

She said it had issued formal notices to the six industry associations developing codes, notifying them of their obligation to have a fit-for-purpose draft ready to be registered by eSafety later this year.

“We will continue to work closely with them through this important next phase of the drafting process,” Ms Inman Grant said.

“Ultimately, we want the online industry to succeed in this because we believe eSafety and the online industry have a critical co-regulatory role to play here in helping keep Australians safe online.”

She said that if the industry was unable to establish codes in a timely fashion, the eSafety Commissioner had the power to declare industry standards.

The codes apply to eight industry sections, 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.

The responsibility is on industry to draft the new codes, the Commissioner said, and offer solutions to how they might achieve the required safety measures.

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