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Australia’s ‘lift veil’ on Facebook, to Google algorithms, in order to protect the privacy

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia said that it was the world’s first dedicated office, police department Facebook Inc (FB.(O) and Google (GOOGL.D) as part of the reforms designed to rein in the AMERICAN technology giants to establish a precedent for the global regulators.

FILE IMAGE: The Google logo is displayed at the entrance of the Google offices in London, united Kingdom, January 18, 2019. (REUTERS photo/Hannah McKay/File Photo

In a move which tightens the regulatory screws in to the online platform, which is the government of the United States of america to Europe is scrambling to address concerns, ranging from anti-trust issues in the dissemination of “false news” and hate speech.

The australian Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, said the $5-billion fine slapped on Facebook in the United States this month, and for privacy violations, showed the regulators were to take such things very seriously.

“They are one of the most powerful and most valuable in the world,” Frydenberg told reporters in Sydney after the release of his long-awaited report on the future of the regulation of the dominant digital platform.

“They should be held accountable for their actions, and their activities should be more transparent.”

Canberra is a special branch of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), and the anti-trust watchdog, is to investigate how the company uses algorithms to match advertisements with the viewers, giving them a stronghold to be the main revenue generator of the operators.

The new office is one of the 23 recommendations made in the ACCC’s report, including the strengthening of privacy laws for the protection of the media, and the creation of a code of conduct in respect of which the approval is to determine how the internet giant to profit from the user content.

Frydenberg said that the government intended to “take the veil” on how the companies collect and financial data of the user, and to accept the ACCC’s overriding conclusion is that there is a need for reform”.

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The proposals would be subject to a 12-week public consultation to the government on the report, he added.

Google and Facebook have opposed the stricter rules, while the traditional media owners, including Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp (NWSA.(O) to back the reform.

A Google representative said in an e-mail that the company was going to have to negotiate with the government during the consultation process on the recommendations made in this report.

A Facebook representative was not immediately available for comment.

FIVE INVESTIGATIONS ONGOING

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said the regulator studied the Facebook and Google + for the 18 months prior to the delivery of the report, and learned that the law allows the companies to collect and use personal data in ways which users did not understand it.

“There needs to be a lot more transparency and monitoring of Google and Facebook, and their activities and practices,” he said.

The supervisor, five investigation of the platforms is under way, and “it seems to me that there is more to follow”, he added.

FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of the world’s mobile users have seen in addition to a projection screen with the Facebook logo in this photo illustration, March 28, 2018. REUTERS/dado Ruvic/Image/File Photo

Under the new law, already in place for the ACCC, may levy fines of up to 10% of the Australian turnover for breaches of the legislation.

Among the other recommendations in the report, the ACCC said it wanted to in the privacy law to be updated and do you have the legal right to erase personal data which are stored online, and the alignment of Australia with the some of the elements of the European Union’s General data protection Regulation.

“We can’t leave these issues to be dealt with by means of firms with a considerable reach and power are available on the market. It’s really up to the government and the regulators to provide up-to-date and stay up-to-date in relation to all of these problems,” he said.

Reporting by Byron Kaye and Tom, my legs are like lead; Editing by Stephen Coates

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