Tech giants under Morrison government scanner over user safety

Highlights

  • Australia raises the possibility of more legislation on the tech giants with a new inquiry.
  • The committee lawmakers will investigate the algorithms used by the social media platforms.
  • Morrison said big tech companies have big questions to answer.

The Australian Government is set to conduct a wide-ranging parliamentary inquiry into the behaviour of big tech giants like Google and Facebook, Scott Morrison, Australia’s Prime Minister, said on Wednesday. The committee in charge of this new parliamentary inquiry will likely report its findings by early February 2022.

Morrison said that big tech companies are responsible for ensuring safe platforms. These are likely to encounter additional regulations where the committee lawmakers will investigate the algorithms used by the social media platforms.

The possible additional investigation will inquire how these big tech companies verify the users' identification and age, including the extent to which restriction on such information is enforced.

As per the media reports, Morrison said that big tech companies must answer big questions as they are the ones who created these platforms and are responsible for ensuring these platforms' that they are safe.

The news of a fresh inquiry is likely to increase tensions between Australia's government and Facebook and Google, as Facebook recently changed its name to Meta.

Earlier this year, Australia enacted strong new regulations requiring both tech corporations and local media to pay for content, while Canberra has proposed laws requiring them to divulge the identity of those who use anonymous accounts if they are accused of defamation by another person.

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