Senate debates

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Statements by Senators

Influence of International Digital Platforms

1:52 pm

Photo of Andrew BraggAndrew Bragg (NSW, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise to place on the record my thanks to the Senate for instituting an inquiry into the big tech platforms. I think it is without question that these organisations have more power than any other set of corporations since the Gilded Age—or perhaps ever. They have enormous control over our society and our economy, and we must form a stronger view on the policies which are going to be required to protect our interests—our interests as individuals, but also our interests as a country—over these next few years. My hope is that this inquiry can do a good deal of that work. It may well be able to shed some light on the sorts of policies we should have had in place to better protect our interests, in light of the massive data breach that Optus is currently having to address.

I think it can also have a good hard look at the use of algorithms and how these are used on these major platforms, and what sort of policing should there be of these organisations. Of course, as a capitalist, I am always wary of government regulation, but I think there is no doubt that when an organisation becomes so large and has such a substantial impact on your economy or your society you should be prepared to consider regulation, so I very much look forward to the work that we have to do over the next 12 months.

For some time my view, as a member of this chamber, has been that the best work the Senate does is through its committees. I'm not so sure about question time being a terrific project of determining new information or developing new policies, but certainly the committees do a good job in my experience.