All smartphones sold in Australia could be forced to include parental controls under new online safety push | #socialmedia

Social media companies would be forced to change their default privacy setting for accounts set up by children and all devices sold in Australia would have to come with parental controls, under new recommendations being considered by the federal government.

A new report from the federal parliament’s social media and online safety committee also considered whether social media companies could be forced to hand over key details about the algorithms they rely on to feed users content.

The report found social media companies could be doing more to protect the privacy of young people online and suggested mandating default high-level privacy settings as a simple step.

The committee chair, Liberal MP Lucy Wicks, said while some companies were already doing so, the industry’s hand needed to be forced.

“Social media platforms have had the chance to be able to do this in an optional way for a long time now,” she said.

“They have known that young people are using the services to be able to communicate, talk, to text and message their friends and family — it’s become an important part of their world.

The committee also wants parental controls on digital devices — like smartphones — mandated when sold in Australia.

The controls, which are already common, give parents or carers the ability to monitor, block and filter some content.

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