Australia plans to have social media companies acquire parental consent for users under 16 years old, with penalties of up to 10 million Australian dollars (859 million Japanese Yen) for those that will not be able to comply, under the draft Online Privacy Bill published on October 25, 2021.

According to the bill, forums and dating apps such as Reddit and Bumble would also be required to take all needed actions to determine users’ ages and focus on children’s interests when gathering data. The newly submitted online regulations would put Australia among the strictest countries in terms of age controls for social media. This is in support of Australia’s goal to toughen laws against online misinformation and abuse. “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 authority would be given to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, which includes the ability to reprimand a corporation for any violation.