Australian government report shows tech companies are not doing enough to tackle child abuse
The Australian eSafety Commissioner (eSafety) gave reporting notices to seven online service providers requiring them to report on their implementation of the country’s Basic Online Safety Expectations with respect to child sexual exploitation and abuse. Providers were asked about the procedures they use to address child exploitation on their platforms, including grooming, the use of video to provide live feeds of abuse, and recidivism (users banned for previous abuse re-register with new accounts).
The transparency notices were given to seven providers:
eSafety received responses from all the providers. And, under the Aus Online Safety Act 2021, eSafety can publish summaries of the information received, providing what they call a “world-leading tool for lifting transparency and accountability from industry”. The responses gave valuable, unique insights that were not previously available to the public or lawmakers, showing massive inconsistencies in the steps taken to address child sexual exploitation and highlighting inadequate risk management and responses.
The resulting E-Safety commission report is the first of its kind in the world.
You can download and read it here.
“This report shows us that some companies are making an effort to tackle the scourge of online child sexual exploitation material, while others are doing very little,” eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said. “But we’re talking about illegal content that depicts the sexual abuse of children – and it is unacceptable that tech giants with long-term knowledge of extensive child sexual exploitation, access to existing technical tools and significant resources are not doing everything they can to stamp this out on their platforms. We don’t need platitudes, we need to see more meaningful action.”