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Tech Giants Google And Facebook Face Greater Scrutiny in Australia

In a report, the ACCC argued that the dominance of platforms like Facebook and Google -- who derive a vast majority of their revenue from advertising -- demands increased regulatory oversight

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Google comes up with a new feature

Flagging lack of transparency around the algorithms that Google and Facebook use to display ads and news, Australia’s consumer watchdog has said that the tech giants need to be monitored closely so that they do not abuse their power.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has recommended a mechanism for monitoring how the major tech companies rank and display ads and news content, News.com.au reported on Monday.

The task for monitoring and reporting the activities of the tech giants should be given to a new or existing regulatory authority, the watchdog said, adding that these measures are necessary to prevent the powerful companies from harming the country’s media and digital advertising industries.

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A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

In a report, the ACCC argued that the dominance of platforms like Facebook and Google — who derive a vast majority of their revenue from advertising — demands increased regulatory oversight.

“Australian law does not prohibit a business from possessing significant market power or using its efficiencies or skills to ‘out compete’ its rivals,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims was quoted as saying by News.com.au.

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“But when their dominant position is at risk of creating competitive or consumer harm, governments should stay ahead of the game and act to protect consumers and businesses through regulation,” Sims added. (IANS)

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Russia’s Communication Watchdog Opens Administrative Proceedings Against Twitter, Facebook

In April last year, thousands rallied in Moscow in support of internet freedom after Russian authorities attempted to block access to the popular messaging app Telegram.

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A user gets ready to launch Facebook on an iPhone, in North Andover, Mass., June 19, 2017. Facebook has made changes to fight false information, including de-emphasizing proven false stories in people's feeds so others are less likely to see them. VOA

Russia’s communication watchdog, Roskomnadzor, opened “administrative proceedings” Monday against Facebook and Twitter for non-compliance with country’s data laws, Interfax news agency reported.

Roskomnadzor head Alexander Zharov is quoted as saying that U.S. social media giants have a month to comply or face legal proceedings.

According to Roskomnadzor, Facebook and Twitter have not explained how and when they would comply with legislation that requires all servers used to store Russians’ personal data to be located in Russia.

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A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Russia has introduced stricter internet laws in the past five years, among other things requiring search engines to share encryption keys with Russian security services.

Also Read: Twitter Rolls Out Reverse-chronological Timeline Option For Android

In April last year, thousands rallied in Moscow in support of internet freedom after Russian authorities attempted to block access to the popular messaging app Telegram.

Telegram had refused to give state intelligence services access to private conversations which are usually encrypted. (VOA)