Australia declares inquiry into tech giants

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says massive tech corporations have duty to make sure their platforms are secure.

Australia will conduct a wide-ranging parliamentary inquiry into the behaviour of the world’s largest know-how firms and the necessity for brand new laws, Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated on Wednesday.

Australia has led international efforts to rein within the powers of the likes of Alphabet and Facebook, putting in laws that has been heralded as a mannequin for others to repeat.

Raising the potential for extra regulation, Morrison stated on Wednesday that the brand new inquiry may have a large scope, together with asking the committee lawmakers to analyze the algorithms utilized by social media platforms, how the businesses confirm identification and age, and the extent to which restrictions on these are being enforced.

“Big tech has big questions to answer,” Morrison instructed reporters. “Big tech created these platforms, they have a responsibility to ensure they’re safe.”

New legal guidelines

The announcement of a brand new inquiry is prone to stoke tensions between Australia’s authorities and Facebook, which not too long ago modified its identify to Meta, in addition to Google.

Earlier this yr, Australia applied powerful new legal guidelines that made the tech firms pay native media for content material, whereas Canberra has proposed legal guidelines that will pressure them to share the identities of individuals with nameless accounts if one other particular person accuses them of defamation.

When Australia proposed laws forcing each firms to pay native media for information content material, Google threatened to shut its Australian search engine, whereas Facebook reduce all third-party content material from Australian accounts for greater than per week.

Both finally struck offers with Australian media firms after a sequence of amendments to the laws had been supplied.

The committee answerable for the brand new inquiry will report its findings by February 15, 2022.