Draft bill in Australia proposes higher privacy penalties, parental consent for minors

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The Australian government released a Privacy Act review discussion paper, along with a draft Privacy Legislation Amendment (Enhancing Online Privacy and Other Measures) Bill 2021. The bill would impose higher penalties for privacy violations, create a new Online Privacy Code and require social media companies to obtain parental consent for users under 16. Under the proposal, the maximum $2.1 million penalty for privacy breaches will increase to up to $10 million, or three times the value obtained through misuse of information, or 10% of an entity’s annual Australian turnover. The code would be developed by industry to regulate social media services, data brokers and large online platforms, including requirements for transparency on how they handle personal information. The government is accepting submissions on the draft through Dec. 6.
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