PM vows to crack down on tech giants
PRIME Minister Scott Morrison is putting web giants Google and Facebook on notice - saying that if they want to make money off Australians then they must abide by our rules. The Prime Minister exclusively told The Daily Telegraph he believed the government could do more to police the international companies. And he said there was no doubt these multinationals were "selling their customers for revenue".
"Governments, countries, prime ministers (and) treasurers have to stand up to these guys and say 'you're very welcome here, they bring a great service, but you don't get to come with a leave pass that everyone else has to abide by'," Mr Morrison told The Daily Telegraph.
"There are responsibilities and accountabilities and where I don't think they're being honoured then I will act".
His comments - the strongest to date - come just days after a damning report by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission called for a high-powered watchdog to rein in the influence of Google and Facebook.
It warned of a lack of transparency over their algorithms, the secret functions the sites use to track and predict users.
The government is closely considering this recommendation.
Mr Morrison has already signalled a willingness to take on big electricity companies and banks, even in the face of colleagues who argue the approach goes against Liberal Party values.
"I'm all for market-based capitalism, but that's not a blank cheque and it's not a free rein," Mr Morrison said.
"When you look at the big digital companies and multinationals, it's also how they deal with their customers.
"They don't get to exist outside the world of governance. They don't get to not have to be subject to the same rules, whether it's taxation or consumer protections that companies in the physical world are."
Mr Morrison said part of the problem was a lack of transparency in the relationship between multinationals in the internet space and Australia.
"If they're not serving people I will step in. If they behave themselves and look after their customers and don't treat them disrespectfully they have nothing to worry about," he said.
The ACCC report also raised serious concerns about social media giants' willingness to crack down on ad fraud.