Privacy, the dominance of digital platforms and press freedom are key issues currently faced by the communications sector and this is likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future, not only in Australia but internationally.

Following the recent Law Council of Australia Media and Communications 2019 seminar hosted by Holding Redlich in Sydney, we wrap up the major points made by the two key note speakers, ACCC Chair Rod Sims and Australian Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk.

The views of the ACCC

The Chair of the ACCC, Rod Sims spoke at the event in relation to various implications of the ACCC's Digital Platforms Inquiry (Inquiry). He made a number of interesting points including why such a broad review of digital platforms was required and noted that as well as being the regulator of competition the ACCC is also the regulator of consumer issues and exploring consumer issues was an explicit part of the terms of reference of the Inquiry.

The competition issues arise from the market power of the digital platforms in relation to their access to and control over data and the access asymmetry as between consumers and the platforms.

Finally, he made the point that the Inquiry raised many issues which society will need to address by ensuring that new rules are developed that harness the benefits of data and reduce the harms to individuals that are becoming apparent.

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