Britain has disclosed that it will set up a watchdog to regulate tech giants such as Facebook and Google and improve their clarity on using people’s data and personalised adverts.
This was revealed in a statement by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, who said that the new regulator, the Digital Markets Unit, will “govern the behaviour of platforms that currently dominate the market, such as Google and Facebook”, adding that the aim is “to ensure consumers and small businesses aren’t disadvantaged”.
the Digital Markets Unit is being created after the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said in July that existing laws were not effective and a new regulatory regime was needed to control internet giants that earn from digital advertising.
The CMA has backed the new rules while it has not taken direct action against Facebook and Google.
The Business Secretary of CMA, Alok Sharma said, “Our new, pro-competition regime for digital markets will ensure consumers have choice, and mean smaller firms aren’t pushed out.”
Consumers will be able to choose whether to see personalised advertising, according to the government.
The new regulator will be launched in April and could have powers to “suspend, block and reverse decisions of tech giants”, order them to take actions and impose fines.
However, Google reacted by saying it wants to “work constructively” with the new regulator.
Facebook is preparing to launch its Facebook News service in the UK, which works with news media and includes original reporting. It stated that it remains “committed to working with our UK industry partners to find ways to support journalism and help the long-term sustainability of news organisations”.