Wednesday January 22, 2020
Home Lead Story Australia to ...

Australia to Scrutinize Google, Facebook Activities

However, Sunita Bose, Managing Director of Digital Industry Group, which represents Google, Facebook and Twitter, urged caution to the government

0
//
Corporate, America, Climate Change
FILE - In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook's developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

Australia on Friday said it would form a dedicated department to keep check on Facebook and Google as part of reforms to protect privacy of consumers and ensure antitrust laws are respected in the country.

The measure to control the market dominance of the technology giants and police their activities was recommended by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the antitrust watchdog for protection of consumer rights and rein in illegal anti-competitive behaviour.

It comes in the context of concerns over the power the technology companies have in the market and the influence over the people through collection of personal data of consumers, Efe news reported.

On Friday, the ACCC released 23 recommendations along with its final report on the impact of digital search engines, social media platforms and digital content aggregators on the state of competition in media and advertising services markets.

The study was commissioned by the government in 2017.

Among other measure, the watchdog has recommended establishment of a special branch of the ACCC “to pro-actively monitor and investigate potentially anti-competitive conduct by digital platforms”.

huawei
Huawei smartphones are seen in front of displayed Google Play logo in this illustration picture, May 20, 2019. VOA

“Make no mistake, these companies are among the most powerful and valuable in the world,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said as he released the report on regulating of digital platforms.

Frydenberg said these multinationals needed to be “held to account and their activities need to be more transparent”.

The government also emphasized that digital platforms collect and use a large amount of personal information about consumers who need to be informed about the data collected as well as by whom and how it is being used.

Frydenberg said there was a need to develop a media regulatory framework to “ensure that substantial market power is not used to lessen competition in media and advertising services markets”.

Also Read: No Environment Immune to Cyber Attacks: Check Point

ACCC chair Rod Sims in a statement said that the recommendations were “comprehensive and forward looking and deal with the many competition, consumer, privacy and news media issues we have identified throughout the course of this inquiry”.

However, Sunita Bose, Managing Director of Digital Industry Group, which represents Google, Facebook and Twitter, urged caution to the government.

“We’re closely reviewing these recommendations to ensure they don’t bring unintended consequences to all digital businesses and the choice of digital products available to Australian consumers,” she said in a statement. (IANS)

Next Story

Facebook Apps Helped EU Firms Generate 208 bn Euros in Sales

The study also found that female-founded businesses, in particular, credit social media with helping them to start and grow their businesses

0
Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

Facebook apps have helped businesses in the European Union (EU) generate sales corresponding to an estimated 208 billion euros last year – resulting in nearly 3.1 million jobs, the social networking giant said in a new report.

According to Facebook, around 25 million businesses in the European Union, mostly small businesses, are using its services each month.

“Businesses said that using Facebook apps helped them generate an estimated 98 billion euros in exports last year. Of these exports, 58 billion euros are sales within the EU and 40 billion euros are sales to the rest of the world,” Nicola Mendelsohn, Vice-President for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Facebook, said on Monday.

To understand the true extent of Facebook’s impact on the European economy, the company commissioned a study by Copenhagen Economics, one of the leading economic firms in Europe. The study surveyed over 7,700 businesses across all industries and sizes in 15 countries.

“This shows the critical role social media plays in driving sales for businesses across Europe. This is particularly true for small and medium sized businesses,” Mendelsohn added.

Fake, News, WhatsApp, Facebook, India
The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

Six in 10 companies said Facebook apps are important in lowering marketing costs and a similar number said Facebook apps are important in improving customer service.

“Six in 10 businesses using Facebook apps report them as helpful to enter markets, and 7 in 10 businesses using Facebook apps are exporting to other countries compared to 5 in 10 non-users,” the report mentioned.

Also Read: Skills Required To Become An Information Security Analyst

The study also found that female-founded businesses, in particular, credit social media with helping them to start and grow their businesses.

“Fifty-eight per cent of female-founded businesses surveyed said that Facebook apps are important for enabling them to start businesses, while 65 per cent said it helped grow their revenue,” said the report. (IANS)