Australia proposes to have social media corporations acquire parental consent for users below the age of 16 and threaten penalties of up to 10 million Australian dollars (859 million Japanese Yen) for internet platforms that will not be able to comply, under the draft legislation published on October 25, 2021.

According to the country’s Online Privacy Bill, forums and dating apps such as Reddit and Bumble would also be required to take all rational actions to determine users’ ages and highlight children’s interests when gathering data. The newly submitted online regulations would put Australia among the most stringent countries with regard to age controls for social media. With Australia’s goal to toughen laws against online misinformation and defamation, this initiative would support the country’s efforts to hold power over the Big Tech (Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft). “We are ensuring [Australians’] data and privacy will be protected and handled with care,” said Attorney-General Michaelia Cash in a statement. “Our draft legislations means that these companies will be punished heavily if they don’t meet that standard,” she added. Under the draft law, full investigation and prosecution powers would be given to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. This official authority includes the ability to penalize a corporation for any breach.