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Google says Australian’s data may be at risk under new news law; regulators say nope

Australian regulators say that if Google’s claims do happen, it will be solely because Google chooses to let it happen.

Google says Australian’s data may be at risk under new news law; regulators say nope
[Photo: PhotoMIX Company/Pexels]
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Google has launched a high-profile campaign against a proposed Australian law that would see the search giant pay struggling news outlets for content. Under the proposed new law, known as the News Media Bargaining Code, tech giants such as Google and Facebook would be required to share more of the ad revenue generated from third-party news stories. The law would also allow some media companies to gain insight into how Google’s algorithm changes affect rankings.

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But today, Google has launched a full-throttled attack against the proposed new law. Visitors to Google’s home page in Australia now see a pop-up warning them “the way Aussies use Google is at risk” and “their search experience will be hurt by new regulation,” reports The Verge. If users click on the message, they are taken to this open letter by Google, which claims that the new regulations mean “your Search data may be at risk” and that free services such as YouTube and Google Search could be at risk.

However, after Google posted its open letter, Australia’s regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), shot back with a response of its own. The ACCC says Google’s letter “contains misinformation” about the proposed law. It emphatically states that “Google will not be required to share any additional user data with Australian news businesses unless it chooses to do so,” and “Google will not be required to charge Australians for the use of its free services such as Google Search and YouTube, unless it chooses to do so.”

In other words, the ACCC says that if those claims Google made in its open letter to Australian users do happen, it will be solely because Google chooses to let it happen.