A new online privacy bill has been proposed by the Australian government, which mainly concerns online privacy and regulates social media companies. The act purportedly “enables the introduction of a binding online privacy code for social media and certain other online platforms, and increases penalties and enforcement measures.”
According to the bill, social media services, data brokerage services, and large online platforms would be subject to this new bill. Organizations would also be required to stop disclosing user information upon request from the user.
One of the significant provisions of the is a requirement that social media companies take steps to verify the age of users. If the user is under 16, the law would require parental consent before social media companies use or collect data from the child. Such a provision could create significant roadblocks for social media companies, which tend to attract young users.
Moreover, the proposed bill widely increases the penalties for companies or individuals who violate it as well. The bill would raise the maximum penalty amount to either $10 million, three times the value of benefits derived from the conduct, or 10 percent of the company’s domestic annual turnover—whichever is greatest. By this bill, a criminal penalty has also been created for the individuals and companies who engage in multiple instances of non-compliance.