PM leads social media safety push at G20

Scott Morrison will ask G20 leaders to back global action to protect children on social media.
Scott Morrison will ask G20 leaders to back global action to protect children on social media.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will ask fellow G20 leaders to back stronger global action to protect children on social media.

Mr Morrison heads to Rome on Thursday for this weekend's annual summit which will cover the global economy, health, climate and sustainable development.

The prime minister's key message to leaders will be the need for greater confidence, security and safety on social media.

The government this week released draft laws which would set up a binding online privacy code for social media services, data brokers and other large online platforms operating in Australia.

Online platforms subject to the code will need to comply with strict new privacy requirements, including stronger protections for children on social media.

Platforms such as Facebook and Tiktok would be required to take all reasonable steps to verify a users' age, and give primary consideration to the best interests of the child when handling children's personal information.

They would also be required to obtain parental consent for users under the age of 16.

Heavy penalties would apply for breaches.

A number of recent surveys have put social media at the top of the list of causes for deteriorating youth mental health.

An Australia Institute study released earlier this year found 84 per cent of people were concerned about the impact of social media on children and a similar number wanted companies to take more responsibility for content.

Mr Morrison will also get his first chance to discuss with leaders his plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Along with Australia the G20 comprises Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union.

The leaders of China, Russia and Japan are not expected to attend the G20 summit.

Mr Morrison will meet one-on-one with a number of leaders, but it is understood there is no formal bilateral planned with French president Emmanuel Macron.

France responded angrily to Australia tearing up a submarine deal in favour of an agreement with the US and UK on nuclear-powered boats.

The French ambassador was pulled out of Canberra but has since returned.

Australian Associated Press