The Australian regulatory body e-Safety Commissioner, which aims to protect its people as well well as children served a notice to Meta Platforms, Apple Inc. and Microsoft asking for measures and steps they are planning to take to remove contents related to child abuse from their platforms.
The Australian body which claims to be the first such body aimed at keeping people safer online has said that failure to comply with its instruction would attract fines. The three tech giants would be fined A$ 555000 per day if they fail to comply with the instructions, more than three crores of Indian rupees. One Australian dollar equals 55.44 Indian Rupees currently.
About e-safety Commissioner
E-safety Commissioner which is led by Julie Inman Grant has said that child abuse is now not just limited to the dark web, but it has also spread its arm to mainstream platforms as well used by us including our children.
“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 in a statement.
The regulatory body said that in the year 2022 it received close to 30 million reports. The highest number of such reports reported came from Apple, followed by Facebook. In recent years internet firms have been under pressure to keep a check on encrypted messaging platforms.
She further said that with the advancement in new technology there is fear that such content would spread unchecked. The regulatory body which came into existence in the year 2015, comprises educators, technology experts and digital specialists. Julie Inman Grant has worked with Microsoft, Twitter and Adobe.
The Issue of Child Abuse
According to a WHO estimate published in 2020 around one billion people under the age group of 2-2-17 have experienced some form of hatred in the form of physical, sexual or emotional violence in the year. According to the same report Child abuse which includes bullying, emotional or psychological bullying can leave a permanent mark. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, close to 2.5 million people in Australia have experienced sexual or physical abuse.
Response of the Tech Firms
Microsoft responds to the letter and said that the company would respond to the letter within the given time frame. A Meta spokesperson said that the company is already working on the issue with the e-Safety Commissioner. Apple is yet to comment on the development.