Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc., and Meta Platforms, the company that owns Facebook, received court letters from an Australian regulator demanding they reveal their plans for preventing child abuse content on their platforms or face penalties.
The e-Safety Commissioner, a body created to safeguard internet users, claimed it used regulations that went into force in January to require the technological behemoths to reveal the steps they were taking to find and remove abusive content within 28 days. If they didn’t, each company would be subject to a daily fine of A$555,000 ($383,000).
The warning highlights Australia’s strict regulation of Big Tech companies since 2021, which has so far included legislation having them pay media outlets for using their content and rules requiring them to disclose information about anonymous accounts that post defamatory material.
Around the world, there has been demand on internet companies to develop a means to monitor encrypted messaging and streaming services for child abuse content without violating user privacy.
“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,”