The Australian Classification Board has expressed concern that there are no existing laws governing the rating of mobile applications.
While Apple currently controls what is made available through the App store for iPhone and iPod touch, the Australian Classification Board would like to “apply the National Classification Code, the Classification Act, and the Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Computer” to mobile applications, reports iTnews.
“I recently wrote to the [Commonwealth Censorship] minister regarding my concern that some so-called mobile phone applications, which can be purchased online or either downloaded to mobile phones or played online via mobile phone access, are not being submitted to the board for classification,” said Donald McDonald, Australia’s Classification Board director.
Apple spokesperson Fiona Martin told the site: “We do what the Australian Classification people tell us to do… If there is a legal requirement within Australia to do something, absolutely we would adhere to that requirement.”
In June, the US Entertainment Software Rating Board called on Apple to adopt its classification system for iPhone games, while the Entertainment Software Association also said it would like to see App Store titles carry ratings.
Apple’s iPhone OS 3.0 software update introduced parents’ ability to decide which music, videos and apps their kids can access, but ESRB president Patricia Vance would like to see the platform holder go further.
“ESRB ratings empower parents to do their job,” she said. “Considering the fact that the vast majority of parents are already aware of and regularly using ESRB ratings, Apple’s adoption of them for iPhone games seems like a no-brainer.”