Government takes major steps toward a safer online experience

The Australian Government has announced key initiatives to further protect Australians online.

The government will amend the Basic Online Safety Expectations (BOSE) Determination to ensure it keeps pace with today's rapidly evolving online environment, with consultation on the reforms now open.

The BOSE Determination sets out the government's expectations for various sections of the digital industry, including social media services, to improve industry transparency and accountability.

Under the amendments, certain digital service providers, including social media services, will be expected to:

  • minimise the production of unlawful or harmful material by generative AI on their platform
  • publish regular transparency reports about their efforts to keep Australians safe online
  • ensure the best interests of the child are a primary consideration for services that are used by children.

These reforms will help protect Australians—including vulnerable people—from harmful content while ensuring industry does its bit to keep Australians safe.

Public consultation on the proposed reforms will conclude on 16 February 2024.  To make a submission, visit Online Safety (Basic Online Safety Expectations) Amendment Determination 2023 consultation page.

The government has also appointed Ms Delia Rickard PSM to conduct a statutory review of the Online Safety Act 2021.

The review of the Act will include consideration of the overaching policy objectives, and the operation of the Act.

It will examine the effectiveness of the complaints-based regulatory schemes, how it is addressing online harms, and identify gaps in the legislation.

Public consultation on the review is expected to take place in early 2024.

More information