Updated · Sep 26, 2022
Australia Demands Anti-Abuse Strategies from Apple, Meta, and Microsoft
Updated · Aug 30, 2022
An internet safety regulator threatened a daily fine if the companies fail to remove abuse material within 28 days.
A Surge in Abuse Material
Australian authorities have served legal documents to leading online platforms demanding that they share the steps they take to address child abuse content. Meta Platforms, Apple, Microsoft, Snap, and Omegle received letters from the e-Safety Commissioner.
The regulator is a government agency dedicated to keeping Australians safe online. It is banking on laws that went into effect this January. It demands that big tech companies disclose their strategies for finding and removing abuse materials on their platforms.
“This activity is no longer confined to hidden corners of the dark web but is prevalent on the mainstream platforms we and our children use every day,” said Commissioner Julie Inman Grant.
The online safety regulator referred to figures presented by the US National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, disclosing it had received over 29 million reports of online child abuse. Of those, 22 million originated from Facebook alone.
Grant went on to touch on the potential dangers that come with the proliferation of live streaming. The market is snowballing and is expected to be worth over $247 billion by 2027.
“As more companies move towards encrypted messaging services and deploy features like live streaming, the fear is that this horrific material will spread unchecked on these platforms.”
The agency has seen a surge in reports since the start of the pandemic, according to Grant.
The e-Safety Commissioner will issue a fine of A$555,000 ($383,000) per day for non-compliance.
Daniel is an Economics grad who fell in love with tech. His love for books and reading pushed him into picking up the pen - and keyboard. Also a data analyst, he's taking that leap into data science and machine learning. When not writing or studying, chances are that you'll catch him watching football or face-deep in an epic fantasy novel.
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