Sunday, August 16, 2020

"Pot, meet kettle: Google claims Australia’s pay-for-news plan could see personal data put to nefarious uses" (GOOG; EVIL)

From The Register, August 17:

YouTubers advised of opportunity to ‘get involved’ in some kind of push-back
Google’s Australian tentacle has published a pair of protestations that repudiate Australia’s “News Media Bargaining Code” plan to have the advertising giant pay local news outlets for linking to their content.
One is an open letter to Australians by Google Australia managing director Mel Silva, and offers the following argument: “A proposed law, the News Media Bargaining Code, would force us to provide you with a dramatically worse Google Search and YouTube, could lead to your data being handed over to big news businesses, and would put the free services you use at risk in Australia.

It's not clear why Google believes the code “could lead to your data being handed over to big news businesses”, given an FAQ for the draft code says the following:
“the code does not include any requirements for digital platforms to increase sharing of user data with news media businesses. Accordingly, the code does not have an impact on the privacy protections currently applicable to digital platform users.”
Silva’s letter is closer to the mark with its observation that “News media businesses alone would be given information that would help them artificially inflate their ranking over everyone else, even when someone else provides a better result”, as the code was created explicitly to see funds flow from Google and Facebook to organisations that run newsrooms....