Quoted in the Financial Times

I was quoted in the Financial Times on the issue of mass surveillance. You can read the full article here. “Privacy advocates aim to spot potential transgressions. “If tracking of individual movement is on the table, then that is unlikely to be in line with existing privacy laws, even in a crisis,” says Bill Wirtz, […]

Monsters of our own creation

The initial solidarity of the response to the coronavirus was overwhelming. People clapped for hospital staff; balcony choirs amazed the #StayAtHome social media crowd. Those who objected to lockdown policies were few and quickly dismissed as naysayers and contrarians. Since then, weeks have passed. In the United States, lockdowns are fresh creations, still not applied […]

The worrying acceptance of tracking our phones

“Corona apps” are coming to Europe, to help governments in “trace and track” efforts to manage their coronavirus response. Tracking apps were already widespread in some Asian countries before the now but privacy rights have largely discouraged their adoption in the West. Even in the face of a global pandemic, we shouldn’t rush to discard […]

Using a crisis to push unpopular policies: Coronavirus-edition

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to affect European countries – and the most affected countries are simultaneously the more indebted Eurozone countries, the issue of mutualized debt has once again been put on the agenda. Spain and Italy argue that the 19 eurozone countries should endorse so-called Coronabonds. These bonds would be issued conjointly with all nations […]

In Africa, a locust plague is seriously endangering food security

As Europe is dealing with Coronavirus, Africa is looking at the most devastating locust plague in decades. Europeans are panic-buying in the supermarkets around the continent – toilet paper, pasta, and many other items that people fear will soon be out of stock. The retailers are being overrun, but the only real shortage is that […]

Coronavirus has strengthened the surveillance state

Mass surveillance is only ever in the news for two reasons—either because a whistleblower has exposed structural government overreach (as happened with Edward Snowden) or because nations are readying to fight a common threat. Over the past two decades, those threats have usually come either from migration or terrorism.

No crisis unused: Eurocare argues for ban on alcohol sponsorship in sports

While the world is battling the Coronavirus crisis, the European Alcohol Policy Alliance (EUROCARE) is facing a different goliath: alcohol sponsorship… in sports? A head-scratcher of sorts, especially given that the sports industry will fall on hard times this year if COVID-19 drags on. With cancelled events and games, cutting the sports industry off from […]

Coronavirus: Hungary descends into institutional authoritarianism

European nations have responded to coronavirus in varied ways. Italy and Spain put their countries on lockdown to help deal with having the highest number of cases on the continent. Others like Germany and France have followed suit, even though Berlin seems to have a better approach, seeing fewer deaths than in other nations. The United Kingdom […]