Google Warns Australians could Be Exempted From Free Services.
Google, the U.S.-based company's warning, contained in what it called an 'Open letter to Australians‘, a week before public consultation closed on Australian draft laws that would make Google and Facebook pay for the news siphoned from commercial media companies.
They mentioned that “ A proposed law would force us to provide you with dramatically worse Google search and Youtube, could lead to your data being handed over to big news businesses and would put the free services you use at risk in Australia”
Such proposed legislation by the government is being condemned by both Google as well as Facebook. They aim to make them compensate media businesses for the news content.
Australian competition watchdog Rod Sims, chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which drafted the laws, said Google's letter 'contains misinformation.'
He added that it depends on Google if it wishes to charge Australians for the use of its free services such as Google search and Youtube or not and it is completely up to them if they want to share any user data of Australians with the news businesses as it is not required to do so according to the draft.
“Google and Facebook are taking large advertising revenue, even though much of their content came from media organizations. It’s only fair that those that generate content get paid for it,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said.
He added, “draft law remains open for consultation, providing an opportunity for media companies and digital platforms to provide feedback” until 28. August.
In the month of July, Australia’s competition regulator – Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has alleged that Google didn’t inform users clearly about how it used their personal data. It alleged Google of misleading millions of Australians to obtain their consent and use their personal data to target advertising. Google denies such allegations.
Swinburne University senior lecturer on media Belinda Barnet described the Google letter as a “cynical exercise" designed to “scare Google users." According to her, Google has made an ironical statement where they are asked to hand over some data to news organizations she added, “for example which article people have read and how long they may have read it for — and this coming from the world’s major privacy violator and certainly, the world’s largest data aggregator is a bit rich”
COVID- 19 has stopped the businesses and organizations worldwide. Many have been on the precipice of closure. Media houses and news organizations have also suffered due to the pandemic. Even if such big companies like Google and Facebook having their turnover in trillions support the news organizations for the content that they provide then there’s no harm that the government sees.
In context to the same Belinda Barnet tweeted, “Oh cry me a river Google. A trillion-dollar company with Q4 earnings of $46 billion in trying to convince YOU that sharing a *teeny tiny fraction* of their earnings with Australian media outlets is somehow dangerous.”
Google is being criticized by many as it talks about ‘worse product quality’ and sharing of user‘s data to the news organizations on the introduction of draft laws.