The government is considering limits to big tech’s power over news and advertising markets, and boosts to privacy protections
CANBERRA, Australia—Tech giants Facebook Inc. FB -0.48% and Alphabet Inc.GOOG 10.45% ’s Google could have their secretive algorithms policed by a beefed-up watchdog, under what Australia describes as world-first limits to the power that they wield over news and advertising markets.
The recommended changes—which include strengthening privacy safeguards with steep penalties of up to 10% of annual domestic turnover for the misuse of data—are listed in a report by the national competition regulator. It conducted a year-and-a-half investigation into the impact such companies have had on the country.
It comes after Facebook was hit with a $5 billion fine in the U.S. this week. A Federal Trade Commission investigation found the company had repeatedly used deceptive disclosures and account settings to lure users into sharing personal information, undermining their actual privacy preferences…