Thursday, 16 August 2018
I’m very pleased to get the unexpected opportunity to speak on the Enhancing Online Safety (Non-consensual Sharing of Intimate Images) Bill 2018. This bill is a really important step in the right direction. Like the member for Sydney, who spoke earlier, something I did not have to deal with as a young person was the difficulty and some of the challenges posed by having a phone, a camera and the internet. Of course, there are a lot of benefits with the internet, but there are also some risks, and one of those risks is having intimate images of yourself shared when that is out of your control. I’ve spoken to a number of people to whom this has happened, and they’ve said that they felt so disempowered. That lack of control has a really big impact, along with shame and along with humiliation—I think those are the right words for it. It is very, very distressing.
So, this bill is an important step in making sure that shame, humiliation and some of the dangers that come along with the internet and the ability to share these types of pictures are addressed. It is important that our legislative framework keeps up with technological change and keeps people safe and protected. I think anything this parliament can do to make sure that happens is an important thing. This is a new phenomenon. When I speak to people in the school setting they raise it as an issue. The sharing of images in a school environment, which particularly impacts young women, is deeply concerning. Therefore, we need to do everything we can. As other members who have spoken on this bill have said, we need to do everything we can, and an individual who has privately shared their image, for private purposes, should not be shamed. The problem is when control over that image is taken away and the image is inappropriately used to humiliate and control and a range of other things, and we need to be very vigilant as a parliament. I commend the bill to the House.