Parental Lock For Digital Televisions

The Australian Communications Media Authority (ACMA) is looking at ways to put a parental lock on digital television receivers.

The Australian Communications Media Authority (ACMA) is looking to develop a parental lock standard for digital television receivers as a way for parents to make sure their children don’t watch content that is inappropriate for their age group.

ACMA is seeking industry and public comment on the determination of a technical standard that will make parental lock a required feature for digital television receivers. A parental lock will control access to programmes based on their classification, for example, G, PG, M or MA.

“The ACMA will determine a technical standard in the second quarter of this year that will require domestic reception equipment used for receiving digital television services to have a parental lock capability,” said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman. “The ACMA’s primary aim is to ensure this standard meets consumer needs for an appropriate and effective protection mechanism for their children. This is best achieved through consultation to assist in the development of a standard that is clear, unambiguous and readily understood by industry.”

The ACMA has developed a discussion paper to outline the approach it intends to take in determining the parental lock standard, and now seeks comment on a number of issues concerning determination of this technical standard. The ACMA is seeking to understand industry and public views on:

  • whether there are any particular types of digital television receivers that should be exempt from meeting the requirements of the standard;
  • the need for labelling and record-keeping obligations as part of the compliance arrangements that accompany the standard; and
  • the date by which equipment supplied to the market should comply with the standard.

The Authority is hoping to determine the standard by the end of June, with implementation by the end of the year.