Statement on the Government Response to ACCC Digital Platform Services Inquiry

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Reset.Tech Australia is delighted to see Government support today for the ACCC’s recommendations. 

A brave and bold digital competition regime that works for Australians needs to be cognisant of the severe power imbalances inherent in the logic and structure of many digital markets. 

The ACCC led the world in 2019 with powerful analysis in the Digital Platforms Inquiry Final Report. That analysis travelled across the globe and had an impact on numerous robust legislative packages. Despite this ‘headstart’ from the ACCC, Australia is now lagging behind numerous overseas jurisdictions on digital competition. Time is clearly of the essence.      

As the ACCC said in 2019, mitigating the harms from poor digital competition cannot be effectively pursued without an integration with consumer and privacy protection. This has never been more evident, as we learn more about the predatory tactics inherent in numerous digital markets. 

Reset’s new report, Australians for Sale, explores the pernicious adtech ‘underbelly’ sitting under so many digital platforms and reveals the alarming level of data extracted and traded on Australians, designed to manipulate them at their most vulnerable. 

In markets like data brokering, scams and fraud are ‘features not bugs’. They are not an aberration easily ameliorated by downstream security settings. They are baked into the business model of an insatiable system, hungry for the most sensitive and precise information possible. Government action on scams and fraud needs to recognise the upstream imperatives to crack down on market-wide dynamics and protect Australians with international-standard privacy and consumer protection laws.