THE LOWDOWN ON GOOGLE AUSTRALIA AND #AFAIRCODE

The Lowdown on Google Australia and #AFairCode

If you’re an Aussie with an internet connection, you may have encountered an odd pop-up on the Google homepage.

Google Australia

So what’s it all about? According to Mel Silva, Managing Director of Google Australia, the proposed News Media Bargaining Code would mean that your search data may be used to give an ‘unfair advantage’ to news media businesses that would ‘artificially inflate their ranking’. Further, she suggests that your data could potentially be used for other purposes. Silva argues that the new code will make the user experience of Google and YouTube “dramatically worse” by putting free services at risk and delivering less relevant content.

On the 17 th of August, the ACCC responded to Google’s open letter claiming that it contained misinformation about the code- users will not be charged and Google is not required to share additional user data with big news businesses. They also argued that the draft code will ensure that journalists are paid fairly for work that is included on Google and Facebook.

Independent ThinkTank The Australian Institute for Responsible Technology have accused Google of using scare tactics and bullying consumers with their yellow warning signs. In their open letter to The Sydney Morning Herald, they claim that Google and Facebook’s impact on Australian journalism has been ‘disastrous’ with both platforms passing off stories as their own work.

Interested parties have until the 28 th of August to consult on the draft code.