April 17, 2018
The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance – the union that covers Australian journalists – has called for digital giants such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to be regulated in Australia just like other broadcast companies.
In a submission to the ACCC’s digital platforms inquiry, the MEAA said that in the wake of growing concerns about fake news and propaganda, the inappropriate leaking of individual consumers’ data, and the failure to curb online bullying and offensive content, Facebook and Google should be regulated similarly to broadcasters by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
The union said the digital companies should also be forced to contribute a percentage of their revenue towards public interest journalism as Australian publishers and content creators were not being compensated for the use of their media content.
The MEAA has also called for an effective “good faith” requirement to be included in collective bargaining authorisations under Section 88 of the Competition and Consumer Act to enable Australian media companies to engage in mutually satisfactory commercial negotiations.
The union called for a fast-tracking of the Productivity Commission’s recommendations for a new Comprehensive Right for consumers to control their data, the creation of a new Data Sharing and Release Act, and an increase in maximum penalties for mass privacy/data breaches.
Consumers should also be provided with plain language information about safeguards to protect their private data.