Headline, November 30 2019/ TECHNOLOGY : '' ' EUROPE'S MARGRETHE VESTAGER ' ''



MARGRETHE VESTAGER SPENT THE PAST FIVE YEARS developing a well-earned reputation as the world's top tech-industry watchdog.

From her perch overseeing the European Union's competition rules, she fined Google more than $9 billion for breaking antitrust laws and forced Apple to pay about $14.5 billion for dodging taxes.

Now she says, that work, which made her hero among tech critics, did not go far enough. The biggest tech companies continue to test the limits of antitrust laws, behave unethically and push back against government intervention, she said.

But she said the public's growing skepticism about technology has given her an opportunity for a tougher approach.
''In the last five years,'' Ms. Vestager said in an extensive interview, ''some of the darker sides of digital technologies have become visible.''

So Ms. Vestager, a 51-year-old  Danish former lawmaker, is doubling down. She has signed on for a rare second five-year term as the head of the antitrust division of the European Commission, the European Union's executive arm, and assumed expanded responsibility over digital policy across the 28-nation block.

With the new power she has outlined an agenda that squarely targets the tech giants. She's weighing whether to remove some protections that shield large Internet platforms from liabilities for content  posted by users.

She is also working on policies to make companies pay more taxes in Europe and investigating how the companies use data to box out competitors.

Ms. Vestager has pledged to create the world's first regulations around artificial intelligence and called for giving collective bargaining rights to so-called gig economy workers like Uber drivers.

The push comes on top of an investigation into Amazon's use of data to gain an edge on competitors that had already started, and her look into accusations of unfair business practices by Facebook and Apple.

But Ms. Vestager's agenda amounts to a wish list. Her success will depend on support and collaboration from other European officials who are already grappling with challenges like Britain's exit from the European Union, the rise of populism and fraying diplomatic relations with the United States.

It will require standing up to tech companies, too. In person, Ms. Vestager's manner defies her tough enforcer's reputation. She is unfailingly polite, meeting guests by offering tea and apologizing for a lingering cold.

She is a challenging interview subject prone to filibuster and rarely veering from oft-repeated talking points.

A skilled politician, she projects modesty while not exactly turning away from the spotlight. A sign in the hallway outside her office says, in Danish ''Vesrager Street.''

She is also fast to shrug off criticism, including by numerous tech executives and President Trump, that she has been unfair to American tech companies.

Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, called the penalty against his company in 2016 for skirting Irish taxes ''total political crap''. Google is appealing her three decisions against the company.

''She hates the United States,'' President Trump said in a television interview in June, ''perhaps worse than any other person I've ever met.''

Ms. Vestager feigns to hardly remember the president's comment. ''Since I know the very good relationship I have with the United States, then he must only meet people who really like the States if I am the one who likes you the least,'' she said.

The Honor and Serving of the latest Global Operational Research on Technology and Regulators and Watchdogs, continues. The World Students Society thanks authors Adam Satariano and Matina Stevis - Gridneff.

With respectful  dedication to Tech Giants, Watchdogs, Regulators, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twiiter- !E-WOW! the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Tech Giants Tops '''

Good Night and God Bless

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