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Australia’s media bill could become law ‘fairly soon’ despite Google and Facebook objections …

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Denis Charlet | AFP via Getty Images

Australia is on track to the push through the legislation that would require digital platforms to pay for news, according to the country’s communications minister.

The government expects the likes of Google and Facebook to comply with the law, Paul Fletcher told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Tuesday.

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“This bill will pass into law fairly soon,” Fletcher said. “The democratically elected government of Australia expects that businesses that are doing business in Australia will comply with our laws.”

The media bill was introduced in parliament last December. Referred to as the “news media bargaining code,” it would require digital platforms to pay local media outlets and publishers to link their content in news feeds or search results. If both sides are unable to reach a commercial deal, government-appointed arbitrators can decide on the price.

Australia doesn’t want to see Google leave

Fletcher was part of an Australian delegation that held a conversation with Google CEO Sundar Pichai to discuss the contentious bill and its implications. Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg were also at that meeting.

He explained that while it was made clear to Google that the Australian government does not want to see the search engine or Facebook leave the market, they are still expected to comply with the law of the land.

“We have seen from time to time over the last few years, big tech companies — typically U.S. tech companies — make threats about leaving Australia if they weren’t happy with our regulatory settings,” he said, drawing comparisons with Amazon a few years back.

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The e-commerce giant temporarily barred Australians from access to products from its main website in 2018 to comply with changes in local tax laws, but later walked back on that decision, according to media reports.

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Do ‘satisfactory commercial agreements’

The media bargaining code is undergoing a senate enquiry at the moment.

Google argues that the current version of the proposed legislation does not work for its products and services in Australia, but says it’s willing to pay publishers for value.

Australia’s competition watchdog said in September that for every 100 Australian dollars ($77.26) spent by advertisers online in 2019, Google took A$53, Facebook got A$28 and just A$19 went to other websites and advertising tech.

Fletcher said there are concerns Google has a near-monopoly status in the search market, and that the government’s main reason for the law is that it wants Google and Facebook to do “satisfactory commercial agreements” with Australian news media businesses.

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“When you have that extraordinary degree of market power, then perhaps you don’t feel under the same ordinary commercial pressure to do deals with other market participants,” Fletcher said. “That’s why we’re coming in with this backstop of this legislative process where if a commercial deal is not done, then there is the power for this compulsory arbitration process to occur.”

Analysts say the law in Australia could set the precedence for regulators in other countries in dealing with Big Tech.

Impact on small publishers

We’d expect that the market would respond and other providers of search services would come into the market and … very quickly, we’d expect their search offerings to adapt to the greater demand.

Paul Fletcher

Minister for communications, Australia

If Google decides to withdraw its product from Australia, it could allow other search engines, including DuckDuckGo and Microsoft’s Bing, to expand their market share. That’s the argument from both the government and the competition watch dog.

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“We’d expect that the market would respond and other providers of search services would come into the market, and of course, very quickly, we’d expect their search offerings to adapt to the greater demand,” Fletcher said.

The communications minister also said he’s been using the DuckDuckGo search engine on mobile for about six months. “I found it to be perfectly fine,” he said.

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Introducing an Update to the Data Protection Assessment

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Over the coming year, some apps with access to certain types of user data on our platforms will be required to complete the annual Data Protection Assessment. We have made a number of improvements to this process since our launch last year, when we introduced our first iteration of the assessment.

The updated Data Protection Assessment will include a new developer experience that is enhanced through streamlined communications, direct support, and clear status updates. Today, we’re sharing what you can expect from these new updates and how you can best prepare for completing this important privacy requirement if your app is within scope.

If your app is in scope for the Data Protection Assessment, and you’re an app admin, you’ll receive an email and a message in your app’s Alert Inbox when it’s time to complete the annual assessment. You and your team of experts will then have 60 calendar days to complete the assessment. We’ve built a new platform that enhances the user experience of completing the Data Protection Assessment. These updates to the platform are based on learnings over the past year from our partnership with the developer community. When completing the assessment, you can expect:

  • Streamlined communication: All communications and required actions will be through the My Apps page. You’ll be notified of pending communications requiring your response via your Alerts Inbox, email, and notifications in the My Apps page.

    Note: Other programs may still communicate with you through the App Contact Email.

  • Available support: Ability to engage with Meta teams via the Support tool to seek clarification on the questions within the Data Protection Assessment prior to submission and help with any requests for more info, or to resolve violations.

    Note: To access this feature, you will need to add the app and app admins to your Business Manager. Please refer to those links for step-by-step guides.

  • Clear status updates: Easy to understand status and timeline indicators throughout the process in the App Dashboard, App Settings, and My Apps page.
  • Straightforward reviewer follow-ups: Streamlined experience for any follow-ups from our reviewers, all via developers.facebook.com.

We’ve included a brief video that provides a walkthrough of the experience you’ll have with the Data Protection Assessment:

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The Data Protection Assessment elevates the importance of data security and helps gain the trust of the billions of people who use our products and services around the world. That’s why we are committed to providing a seamless experience for our partners as you complete this important privacy requirement.

Here is what you can do now to prepare for the assessment:

  1. Make sure you are reachable: Update your developer or business account contact email and notification settings.
  2. Review the questions in the Data Protection Assessment and engage with your teams on how best to answer these questions. You may have to enlist the help of your legal and information security points of contact to answer some parts of the assessment.
  3. Review Meta Platform Terms and our Developer Policies.

We know that when people choose to share their data, we’re able to work with the developer community to safely deliver rich and relevant experiences that create value for people and businesses. It’s a privilege we share when people grant us access to their data, and it’s imperative that we protect that data in order to maintain and build upon their trust. This is why the Data Protection Assessment focuses on data use, data sharing and data security.

Data privacy is challenging and complex, and we’re dedicated to continuously improving the processes to safeguard user privacy on our platform. Thank you for partnering with us as we continue to build a safer, more sustainable platform.

First seen at developers.facebook.com

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Resources for Completing App Store Data Practice Questionnaires for Apps That Include the Facebook or Audience Network SDK

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Updated July 18: Developers and advertising partners may be required to share information on their app’s privacy practices in third party app stores, such as Google Play and the Apple App Store, including the functionality of SDKs provided by Meta. To help make it easier for you to complete these requirements, we have consolidated information that explains our data collection practices for the Facebook and Audience Network SDKs.

Facebook SDK

To provide functionality within the Facebook SDK, we may receive and process certain contact, location, identifier, and device information associated with Facebook users and their use of your application. The information we receive depends on what SDK features 3rd party applications use and we have structured the document below according to these features.

App Ads, Facebook Analytics, & App Events

Facebook App Events allow you to measure the performance of your app using Facebook Analytics, measure conversions associated with Facebook ads, and build audiences to acquire new users as well as re-engage existing users. There are a number of different ways your app can use app events to keep track of when people take specific actions such as installing your app or completing a purchase.

With Facebook SDK, there are app events that are automatically logged (app installs, app launches, and in-app purchases) and collected for Facebook Analytics unless you disable automatic event logging. Developers determine what events to send to Facebook from a list of standard events, or via a custom event.

When developers send Facebook custom events, these events could include data types outside of standard events. Developers control sending these events to Facebook either directly via application code or in Events Manager for codeless app events. Developers can review their code and Events Manager to determine which data types they are sending to Facebook. It’s the developer’s responsibility to ensure this is reflected in their application’s privacy policy.

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Advanced Matching

Developers may also send us additional user contact information in code, or via the Events Manager. Advanced matching functionality may use the following data, if sent:

  • email address, name, phone number, physical address (city, state or province, zip or postal code and country), gender, and date of birth.
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Facebook Login

There are two scenarios for applications that use Facebook Login via the Facebook SDK: Authenticated Sign Up or Sign In, and User Data Access via Permissions. For authentication, a unique, app-specific identifier tied to a user’s Facebook Account enables the user to sign in to your app. For Data Access, a user must explicitly grant your app permission to access data.

Note: Since Facebook Login is part of the Facebook SDK, we may collect other information referenced here when you use Facebook Login, depending on your settings.

Device Information

We may also receive and process the following information if your app is integrated with the Facebook SDK:

  • Device identifiers;
  • Device attributes, such as device model and screen dimensions, CPU core, storage size, SDK version, OS and app versions, and app package name; and
  • Networking information, such as the name of the mobile operator or ISP, language, time zone, and IP address.

Audience Network SDK

We may receive and process the following information when you use the Audience Network SDK to integrate Audience Network ads in your app:

  • Device identifiers;
  • Device attributes, such as device model and screen dimensions, operating system, mediation platform and SDK versions; and
  • Ad performance information, such as impressions, clicks, placement, and viewability.

First seen at developers.facebook.com

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Resources for Completing App Store Data Practice Questionnaires for Apps That Include the Facebook or Audience Network SDK

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Resources for Completing App Store Data Practice Questionnaires for Apps That Include the Facebook or Audience Network SDK

First seen at developers.facebook.com

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