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This article was published on June 16, 2011

Australian Parliament pushes Facebook to add parental controls

Australian Parliament pushes Facebook to add parental controls

Facebook may soon have to comply with legislation that forces it to provide parents with more control over their children’s Facebook accounts, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Australian MP Dennis Hood is drafting a bill that would allow parents to receive updates on Facebook interactions by their children, giving them more control over the information that is posted to the site.

Action comes after an Australian mother raised issues over the way Facebook handled requests to intervene after her child had posted updates to the site. Facebook responded in writing that it would not discuss the issue with the mother, saying that it would only speak to the 13-year-old as the owner of the social networking account.

Speaking to the media on Thursday, Hood said:

“I believe that Facebook needs to amend its policy regarding parental controls and legislation needs to be amended to allow parents to properly monitor their children’s online activities,” Hood said today.

That policy and privacy laws are interfering with parents’ ability to properly protect their children from inappropriate online exposure.

“I have raised this issue in Parliament and with the media because I believe it is important that parents have all the necessary tools to protect their kids online and this policy doesn’t help.”

Hood has yet to specify how new controls would be imposed, stating that they were still under discussion in the drafting process. He also welcomed both the federal and state governments to involve themselves in the issue.