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The ACMA is developing a technical standard that will make a parental lock a required feature for digital TV receivers. The parental lock will allow parents to control access to programs based on their classification.

The government body has called for industry and public comment.
ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman said, “Mandating the inclusion of parental lock in digital receivers will support parents and guardians in protecting their children from inappropriate or harmful content on television.
“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.
“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,” Mr Chapman said.
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.
A discussion paper outlining the ACMA’s approach in determining the standard can be found on the ACMA website. The closing date for comment is 2 April 2010.
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