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Australia is tightening the screws on US tech giants it announced Friday it will set up an office dedicated to policing Facebook and Google the first of its kind in the world curbing the power of big tech has become a hot topic in recent months with the US and Europe scrambling to deal with anti trust issues the spread of fake news and hate speech Facebook has recently been slapped with a five billion dollar fine in the U. S. for privacy breaches a sign that regulators are finally taking the problem seriously according to Australia's treasurer make no mistake , these companies are among the most powerful and valuable in the world , and I need to be held to account , and their activities need to be more transparent the new office will be part of the ACCC Australia's antitrust watchdog it's one of many recommendations made by the watchdog to protect consumers after studying Facebook and Google for eighteen months the new office will be tasked in part was shedding light on how the two firms use algorithms to profit from their user's data one of the purposes behind this new I triple say branch is to actually better understand %HESITATION the use of these algorithms to ensure that they're not they're not being used for misleading or deceptive or anti competitive conduct the ACCC report may twenty three recommendations in all including strengthening privacy laws and putting protections in place for the news media but they will become law just yet the government will put them to the public for discussion before Australia decides how and when to act