Google on Monday warned Australians that the government’s proposed new media laws could inhibit their access to free services and compromise their personal data.
In an open letter published online, Google expressed worry over the government’s plan to make it and other tech giants such as Face book pay for news they take from Australia’s traditional media outlets.
Google claimed the code that sets bargaining procedures and penalties to force tech giants to reach an agreement with media companies to pay to use their news would provide users with a “dramatically worse” Google Search and YouTube products.
Google said “it could lead to your data being handed over to big news businesses, and would put the free services you use at risk in Australia.
“Under this law, Google has to tell news media businesses ‘how they can gain access’ to data about your use of our products,” adding that there is no way of knowing if that data would then be protected.
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According to Melanie Silva, the managing director of Google Australia, Google already pays news media businesses millions of dollars and sends them billions of free clicks every year.
She said the code would give big media companies’ special treatment and encourage them to make “enormous and unreasonable demands.”
Some of the country’s largest media companies have argued for annual payments of between 600 million Australian dollars (430 million dollars) and one billion dollars from the tech platforms for use of their news.
The draft code is open for discussion until Aug. 28, and is expected to be implemented by the end of the year. (dpa/NAN)