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‘An enormous amount of data’: Facebook, Google set for ACCC crackdown

The ACCC has launched an inquiry into how much power tech giants Google and Facebook have in enabling media and news outlets to reach Australians online.

A preliminary report has found a lack of transparency from the major players about the algorithms which determine what content users see.

“Go back 20 years, neither Google or Facebook existed in Australia,” says Ross Greenwood.

“They’ve now come to a point at which they control or, in fact, collect around 50 per cent of every advertising dollar in this country.”

The watchdog wants a regulatory body to monitor whether digital platforms are engaging in discriminatory conduct.

ACCC Chair Rod Sims tells Ross Greenwood it’s important there be an investigation or control of the market power.

“Journalism is very important to society. We all benefit from good journalism, even if we’re not paying for it.

“The market power of Facebook and Google, the way they operate, the way they… make it hard for brand names to get recognised, make it hard for media companies to monetise what they create, is affecting journalism.

“On the other hand, with consumer data, they have got an enormous amount of data on people. We think people don’t understand how much data they do actually collect and what they do with it.”

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