• Australia calls for “urgent” FAANG regulation
  • A new framework to adapt to the changing media environment
  • Consumers reach a “tipping point” on digital platform concerns

compliance laptop regulation

Australia recommends FAANG regulation

A regulatory framework to address the growing market power of the Silicon Valley digital giants has been proposed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which says that “reform is now urgent.”  

Greater oversight and authority over Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google (FAANG) has been pushed by the ACCC.

“These platforms now have significant market power in Australia as a consequence of their dominance in digital advertising and media content, including news,” the report stated.

”The ACMA agrees that it is time to consider the areas for and the scope and form of regulation of digital platforms operating in Australia.”

The report concluded the case for a regulatory framework on content delivery is necessary based on the growth and influence of digital platforms which emerged as “startups but have become global behemoths.”

New rules
The new regulatory framework is set to cover all producers, aggregators, curators and distributors of news and journalistic content, without interfering with their editorial independence. 

The framework will consider whether the ways in which “influence” and “control” are monitored, measured and responded to which can be adapted to the new media environment.

The current media regulatory framework is based on a vertical model with mode of delivery determining the nature and extent of regulation. 

The ACMA report proposed that future regulation should model the emerging communications and media landscape as a “stack approach to the regulation where called necessary its targeted approach across the layers of the industry rather directed at a particular delivery mode. 

The proposal calls for collaboration between the Australian government and the public. 

The Australian Communications and Media Authority chair Nerida O’Loughlin said: “The ACCC has made a clear case for bringing digital platforms into the regulatory framework for content delivery.

”As aggregators, curators and distributors of content in particular news and journalistic content, digital platforms have significant influence. But they are not fully considered within current media and communications regulation.” 

The last 12 months’ has seen an undeniable shift in public opinion around the role digital platforms play in society and the urgency to regulate their behaviour. 

Cisco joined Apple, Microsoft and IBM last month in urging the US to follow in the footsteps of the European Union (EU) by formalising GDPR-like regulations.

Consumer concerns on safety across social media platforms, the sharing of disinformation, electoral manipulation and misuse of personal data is reaching a tipping point.

O’Loughlin added: “These platforms have the technological smarts to find ways to address such concerns and if they don’t, then consumers expect that government and regulators will step in.” 

The ACCC published its report as both “necessary and urgent” and proposed a new framework to regulated FAANG based on a principle and outcome-focussed model where the ACMA will act as a single regulator for both traditional and online mediums. 

O’Loughlin said: ”We are committed to working collaboratively to ensure that any reform of the regulatory framework works for government, industry and most importantly, the community.”

According to the Financial Times, US technology companies are united in calling for politicians to pass its first national data privacy law, however there are concerns about the penalties and fines for data breaches.