26 September 2023

Online safety regulators join forces

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Australia’s four biggest digital regulators have joined together to set priorities for the new financial year collectively in a bid to see the users of digital platforms protected from harm.

The Digital Platform Regulators Forum (DP-REG) was made up by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Australian Media and Communications Authority (ACMA), eSafety Commissioner (sSafety) and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) to raise a statement outlining the regulatory priotities they all shared.

“The Forum’s strategic priorities for 2022/23 include a focus on the impact of algorithms, seeking to increase transparency of digital platforms’ activities and how they are protecting users from potential harm, and increased collaboration and capacity building between the four members,” the Forum said.

“Through the Forum all members have agreed to share information and work together to tackle issues across their traditional lines of responsibility,” it said.

“The Forum will also focus on issues surrounding digital transparency, which it considers is essential for the protection of Australians.”

The four Regulators said they intended to focus on improving transparency around what digital platforms did to protect Australians from potential harm, including how consumer data was handled and the impact of their activities to address misinformation.

It said the transparency issues were particularly concerning to the Forum, given the power and information asymmetries between digital platforms and users.

“Together with measures already in place, the forum aims to further address these transparency and accountability issues through the examination of existing terms and conditions, analysis of public reports, and potential additional regulatory or enforcement action undertaken by forum members where appropriate,” the Forum said.

The Forum’s Terms of Reference, finalised in March, can be accessed at this PS News link.

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