Australia’s competition watchdog is poised to call for far-reaching new regulations on Facebook, Google and other tech giants which could have global ramifications for how they make money and choose the content people consume.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s recommendations, if confirmed, would be among the strongest yet in a drive to rein in the power of digital behemoths amid a host of worldwide concerns ranging from anti-trust issues to privacy abuse, and their role in spreading disinformation and hateful content.
Following an 18-month inquiry into the power of digital platforms, the ACCC is due to issue its final report by June 30. “We are at a critical point in considering the impact of digital platforms on society,” said the report, initiated by the conservative government at the behest of Australia’s main media organisations.
The report focused particular attention on the huge impact Google and Facebook have had on Australia’s news industry, with the number of newspaper and online journalists falling more than 20 percent since 2014 as digital advertising revenues were overwhelmingly captured by the two tech titans. A set of preliminary proposals set out in the report, many of which are expected to figure in the final conclusions, include greater regulation over the handling of personal data, similar to Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) introduced last year.
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17 November, 2019