Australia to police tech giants' algorithms


29th July, 2019 07:30:23 printer

Australia to police tech giants' algorithms

The tech giants have recently faced increased pressure from regulators. Getty Images

Australian regulators plan to launch the world's first office dedicated to scrutinising algorithms used by tech giants such as Facebook and Google.

The idea is to reveal how these companies match adverts to users.

A new, special branch of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is to carry out the work.

The announcement came just days after US authorities announced separate plans to investigate the tech giants.

"These companies are among the most powerful and valuable in the world," said Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

"They need to be held to account and their activities need to be more transparent."

He said it was time that people had a clearer understanding of how the tech giants' algorithms worked. Usually, the specifics of algorithms - calculations used by computers to make decisions - are closely guarded commercial secrets.