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In accordance with their market dominance Google and Facebook are in hot waters

So the days of freedom for Google and Facebook are coming to an in-evitable end as the internet media’s top enterprises are now being asked to make it crystal clear to their consumers as to how their private information is being used and in turn these enterprises can be subject to strict policies for breaching the privacy laws established for cyber security. A report on Monday was released bythe Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) which reportedly claims that the digital platforms in this case Google and Facebook “favor their own business interest” through their market power and presence and have no regard for the privacy of their many consumers.

Moreover it was argued that a regulatory body should be put in to action to carry out one specific task, which is ti investigate these two Enterprises to determine whether or not these platforms are carrying out “discriminatory conduct”. So in the report, a total of 11 recommendations were aimed towards reducing Facebook and Google’s market power in general.

Soall in all the ACCC’s recommendation to fight the issues at hand is quitesimple, set up a new regulatory body which will be tasked to assess whether ornot Google and Facebook are abusing their power when it comes to digitaladvertising.

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So why is there a need for such drastic measures to be implemented? Well for one thing ACCC has estimated that both of the digital companies have captured a significant amount of 80 percent of the total digital advertising growth in Australia alone, over the course of the last three years. To make the picture a little more clear to you, lets say for example, that if the total digital advertising market shares totaled at 100 million, 47 million will go to Google and 21 million will go to Facebook whereas the rest of the total websites on the internet account for 32 million. In accordance to the recent developments in the Cambridge Analytic scandal, that has made matters even worse for these companies as consumers and investors now understand the threat imposed by such companies. Finally the ACCC have also recommended a code of practice for all of the digital platforms currently operational which will help in offering transparency to the people.

Merger Rules

The regulatory authority will also be highly responsible to look after the journalistic content on the platforms mentioned. Both of the companies own countless other businesses which in turn poses the threat, that these companies will favort heir own ventures first and other companies last. The report said “ Facebook and Google are vertically integrated businesses and each is likely to have the ability and incentive to favor their own related businesses with which theyhave a existing relationship” . So keeping this factor in mind the ACCC has puta forth recommendation forward to change the merger laws, which will hence takein to account whether an allegation has the potential to remove furthercompetitors and to also take in to account how much Facebook and Google willbenefit in terms of the amount of data received by both companies.

In accordance with their market dominance Google and Facebook are in hot waters

Finally the ACCC wants to impose serious penalties and if such penalties are breached by ignoring the Australian Consumer Law well that can result in fines, up wards of $10 million.

So the complete changes argued by the ACCC are given below:

Any user data collected by a third party is, “accompanied by a notification of this collection that is concise, transparent, intelligible and easily accessible, written in clear and plain language [particularly if addressed to a child], and provided free of charge”
The introduction of an independent, third-party certification scheme: businesses above a certain threshold that hold consumers’ personal information would have to undergo external audits
Consent requirements would be strengthened. Settings that enable data collection must be pre-selected to ‘off’. The consent must also be given by an individual or an individual’s guardian who has the capacity to understand and communicate their consent
Erasure of personal information would be easier
Increasing penalties for breaches of the Privacy Act to at least mirror the increased penalties for breaches of the Australian Consumer Law
Introducing direct rights of action for individuals: Give individual consumers a direct right to bring actions for breach of their privacy under the Privacy Act
Expanding resourcing for the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner OAIC to support further enforcement activities


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