Some of the world’s biggest companies, including Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Instagram owner Meta, will be subject to a parliamentary inquiry into big tech that will specifically focus on corporate power and advertising aimed at children.
The Senate inquiry, which passed unopposed on Monday, is tasked with looking into issues such as whether companies have too much influence on the public debate, whether recent efforts to control them have been successful and whether they have amassed unfair market power. .
Liberal senator Andrew Bragg, who has focused on technology since entering Parliament in 2019, will chair the inquiry, which will be conducted by the Economic Reference Committee.
Labour’s Jess Walsh, the Greens’ Nick McKim, the Liberals’ Dean Smith and the Nationals’ Matt Canavan will also be investigated.
“Technology has brought huge benefits to Australians,” Bragg said. “However, we must have policy settings in place to protect users and ensure Australians are not exploited by perhaps the most powerful companies in history.”
The tech industry is already facing a lengthy inquiry into similar issues by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Regulators around the world have tried the same idea.
Earlier this month sydney morning herald and age The Interior Ministry is scrutinizing ByteDance-owned social media video service TikTok and China’s mega-app WeChat over alleged data collection, it has been revealed.
For their part, major tech companies took issue with critics’ attacks.