Wednesday

14th Apr 2021

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.

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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 subscribe via iTunes, Spotify or from the EU Scream website.

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