Tech giant Google is sending an "open letter" to millions of Australian users today, warning that their search results, personal data, and free services will be put at risk by a ruling from Australia's competition watchdog that would see the company pay for the news it uses.
"Under this law, Google has to tell news media businesses "how they can gain access" to data about your use of our products", Silva writes.
The Australian government, over the past couple of months, has been working on a code of conduct that will force Google and Facebook to pay publishers in Australia for their content that appears in News and in Search.
"Google will not be required to charge Australians for the use of its free services such as Google Search and YouTube unless it chooses to do so", The ACCC stated.
"This law wouldn't just impact the way Google and YouTube work with news media businesses - it would impact all of our Australian users", wrote Silva.
"This will address a significant bargaining power imbalance between Australian news media businesses and Google and Facebook", the statement continued.
The comments comes after the ACCC launched its News Media Bargaining Code on 31 July, which urges tech giants to share profits earned from news on local websites in a bid to create a "level-playing field" for Australian media companies. Google and Facebook would also have to provide data about user engagement on news content on their platforms.
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This latter facility is what Google has focused on, in an open letter to consumers from its Aussie head and a blog directed at YouTube creators.
The platforms would also be required to publish proposals for how they would recognise original news content on their services.
Google later said in a statement that free services were at risk in Australia because the draft laws were "unworkable".
Consultation on the draft code closes on August 28, with the ACCC saying last month that it intends for it to be finalized "shortly", so Google's window to lobby for changes is fast closing.
Google has gone on the offensive against the Australian government's plans to force it to enter into revenue-sharing agreements with media companies, issuing a series of threats over the impact of the plan as part of a new effort to sway public opinion against the proposal.
But the ACCC has said that these provisions do not relate to any user data, and instead are aimed at making Google tell media companies what data is now available to them in a "readily comprehensible" way.
CLAIM: The draft code would put news media businesses in a better position than other content creators.