Monday

15th Apr 2024

Podcast

Věra Jourová on surveillance and Covid-19

  • 'We definitely will not go the Chinese or Israeli way, where the use of these technologies to trace the people goes beyond what we want to see in Europe,' says EU commissioner Vera Jourová (Photo: Helena Malikova)

Věra Jourová is the Czech politician who is vice-president for values and transparency at the European Commission, the body that proposes and enforces laws across the European Union.

She was listed among the 100 most influential people of 2019 by Time magazine for helping pass the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) — rules protecting Europeans' personal data — in her prior role as Europe's justice commissioner.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Get the EU news that really matters

Instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The Covid-19 emergency has added urgency to her new job, which includes responsibility for upholding democracy in Europe and countering disinformation and misinformation.

In an interview recorded on 27 March 27, Jourová says Brussels will vet moves in Hungary to give prime minister Viktor Orbán scope to rule by decree; she urges Facebook and Google to push official health advice to WhatsApp and YouTube; and she pledges to help safeguard the rights of Europeans if their mobile devices are used to track movements and enforce quarantines.

"We definitely will not go the Chinese or Israeli way, where the use of these technologies to trace the people goes beyond what we want to see in Europe," says Jourová. "Even in emergency situations the data privacy rules should be respected."

Author bio

EU Scream is the progressive politics podcast from Brussels. Produced by James Kanter with graphics by Helena Malikova and music by Lara Natale.

You may also follow via @euscreams subscribe via iTunes, Spotify or from the EU Scream website.

Coronavirus vs Democracy

Concern is growing that emergency powers deployed to control the coronavirus pandemic will be used to erode democracy and civil rights.

Hungary's Orban seeks indefinite power in virus bill

In a draft bill Hungary's ruling government seeks special powers uncontrolled by parliament, election, referendums, courts for an indefinite amount of time, rights' groups worry. The bill could be vote on within eight days.

Feature

How Hungary's Orban blamed migrants for coronavirus

Viktor Orban's government was quick to blame an Iranian legally studying in Hungary as his country's first coronavirus case. In fact, it was a Hungarian woman, who probably caught it in Italy.

The high price of muzzling media

The coronavirus outbreak has been a pretext for government censorship and a crackdown on journalists, who have been exposed to new criminal charges as well as violent attacks.

MEPs hear testimony from Pegasus spy victims

The renewed calls for action on Pegasus surveillance in Poland and Hungary came after Hungary's data protection authority, headed by an appointee of prime minister Viktor Orbán, said victims were legitimate targets.

Analysis

Coronavirus: Are we trading privacy for security?

The response of EU countries to the coronavirus outbreak has prompted unprecedented levels of surveillance, data exploitation, and misinformation. Privacy campaigners, and MEPs, have warned of future adverse side-effects.

Mars, god of war, returns to Europe

Political scientist David Rowe has been looking into why so much of Europe wasn't ready for Putin — and the consequences for the Western allies of not spilling their own blood in Ukraine.

Ethics after Qatargate

The dumpster fire at the European Parliament may be largely of the EU's own making.

Latest News

  1. EU leaders condemn Iran, urge Israeli restraint
  2. UK-EU deal on Gibraltar only 'weeks away'
  3. Belgium declares war on MEPs who took Russian 'cash'
  4. Brussels Dispatches: Foreign interference in the spotlight
  5. Calling time on Amazon's monopolism and exploitation
  6. Resist backlash on deforestation law, green groups tell EU
  7. China's high-quality development brings opportunities to the world
  8. Ukraine tops aid list again, but EU spending slumps

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us