False choice: Why the default surveillance model is no choice at all

In our submission to the ACCC Digital platform services inquiry's latest report, we welcome the ACCC looking into the default product options on Android that have contributed to Google's anti-competitive market dominance. 

The issue of Google’s default choice on Android has already resulted in a significant fine in Europe under antitrust law and the choice screen has been presented as a solution.

Over a year since its development, the European choice screen has proven to be inadequate, with Google’s design continuing to preference its own products, and many ‘alternative’ products actually remaining part of Google’s ecosystem.

The Centre for Responsible Technology recommends that the ACCC:

1) Following the €4 billion fine for anti-trust violations in Europe, consider whether Google is in breach of similar competition laws in Australia.

2) Define the parameters and specifications of the choice screen solution upfront as part of this inquiry rather than allowing vested interests to develop the choice screen themselves.

3) Monitor the effect of the choice screen on a quarterly basis to determine its effectiveness and performance, and adjust the design accordingly.

4) Recommend that the government develop incentives for competitors like DuckDuckGo to establish a more developed local presence and regional strategy in the Australian market.