7NEWS


Digital giants Google and Facebook will be actively monitored for anti-competitive behaviour in Australia‘s advertising market under new guidelines.

Privacy laws will be reviewed, social media companies will be made to agree on a voluntary code of conduct and the competition watchdog will get a funding boost.

The changes follow a digital platforms inquiry from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, with government adopting most of its recommendations on Thursday.

But the government ruled out empowering the communications watchdog to take down stolen news content off the web and it won’t allow tax deductible donations to not-for-profits funding public interest journalism

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said if social media bosses didn’t get their heads together on a voluntary code of conduct by November, it would be become mandatory.

The ACCC will get nearly $27 million in additional funding over four years to help it monitor the tech titans.

Chair Rod Sims told reporters on Thursday he was delighted with the changes, with the new road map putting Australia at the forefront of dealing with digital platform issues.

The media union, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, rubbished the government’s use of a voluntary code, saying they were a proven failure in any industry.

“The government’s overall response represents an indifference towards solving problems that will now continue to erode Australian culture, jobs and welfare,” it said.

Labor said much of the work the government was now proposing should have been done years ago, adding to the 2020 policy backlog at the coalition’s feet.





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