The Data Bargain

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Introduction

Digital rights have become a topic that cannot be ignored in the world where digital communications and technologies are playing a key part in social life (Havens & Lotz, n.d,2012). The non-state platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, etc. gaining access to user data, analyzing and trading it has developed some fears in the customers too about how they use this data. Customers around the world have mostly failed to grasp the attention of governments in addressing this issue but the ACCC’s report has focused to address all these confusions.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is aimed at protecting the business rights and obligations, consumer rights, industry regulations, preventing illegal behaviors which include anti-competitive behaviors and price monitoring. It has the power to take action in the Federal Court of Australia to enforce its rulings while administering the Competition and Consumer Act. It aims make a competitive market with fair rules while bringing court actions against companies that breach the Competition and Consumer Act (“Digital Platforms Inquiry: Final Report”, 2020).

Our organization, the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA), an Australian Government statutory authority, has the authority to ensure all the media and communication quality for all Australians. It has a working procedure that includes various regulations, legislations, standards, and codes of practice that oversees the internet, radio communications, broadcasting, and telecommunications. It also works with the industry and the locals in solving evolving concerns and controlling the risks associated with the network and information-based economy ("Australian Communications and Media Authority", 2020). Knowing the fact that the Australians are interacting with digital communications in new developing ways, ACMA not only addresses a wide range of responsibilities but also takes into consideration the rapid change. ACMA also has a proper check and balance mechanism in which it looks after a complaint procedure for the Australian residents and the agencies for any kind of prohibited online content. It also enforces the Spam Act-2003 which rejects unsolicited commercial electronic messages. The ACMA also has a separate wing i.e. the Australian Internet Security Initiative (AISI) which is aimed at addressing the problem of malicious software and any kind of attack

Key Issues

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released a report by the title Digital Platforms Inquiry: Final Report which calls for significant changes to the regulatory landscape governing digital platforms. This report focused on the significance of digital platforms such as social media, search engines, etc. on the consumers. It critically assessed the imbalance in power that exists between the consumers and the organizations of digital platforms. Inquiry put forward 23 recommendations for change across the areas of privacy law, media regulation, customer rights, and competition law (Anon, "Australia: A Privacy Code for the Digital Platforms Sector", 2020). One of the main points highlighted was privacy protection and increasing the regulatory check and balances for digital platforms which involves the use of user’s personal information.

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