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每日跟讀#751: Silicon Valley’s Biggest Foe Is Getting Even Tougher

「科技業監督人」矽谷死敵續任 變得更難纏

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日跟讀#751: Silicon Valley’s Biggest Foe Is Getting Even Tougher

Margrethe Vestager spent the last five years developing a well-earned reputation as the world’s top tech industry watchdog. From her perch overseeing Europe’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.

瑪格麗特.維斯特格過去五年闖出她應得的名聲,成為全球最高階的科技業監督人。她掌管歐洲的競爭規則,裁處谷歌須為違反反壟斷法繳交90多億美元罰款,並迫使蘋果為逃稅繳納約145億美元罰款。

Now she says that work, which made her a 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.

這些事蹟使維斯特格成了批評科技業者眼中的英雄。現在她說,這樣還不夠,科技業最大的幾家公司仍在探測反壟斷法的底線,持續不道德的行為,並抗拒政府的介入監管。

But she said the public’s growing skepticism about technology has given her an opportunity for a tougher approach.

不過她說,大眾對科技業疑慮日深,使她得以更強硬。

“In the last five years,” Vestager said in an extended interview, “some of the darker sides of digital technologies have become visible.”

維斯特格接受為時頗長的訪問時說:「過去五年,數位科技一些陰暗面變得明顯可見。」

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

所以,51歲的丹麥前國會議員維斯特格加倍努力。她已展開歐盟執委會反壟斷主管罕見的第二個五年任期,並對歐盟28成員國的數位政策握有更大的權力。

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 liability 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.

維斯特格憑著新權力,制訂了直接針對科技巨擘的行動計畫。她在考慮是否取消一些保護措施,這些措施讓大型網路平台不必因為用戶上傳的內容而受罰。她並且正在研擬政策,要讓這些公司在歐洲繳更多稅,並調查這些公司如何利用資料阻絕競爭對手。

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.

維斯特格矢志制定世界第一套針對人工智慧的規範,並要求賦予優步司機這類所謂零工經濟的勞工集體談判權。維斯特格推動這些政策之際,歐盟已經開始調查亞馬遜如何利用資料取得競爭優勢,同時維斯特格也正在調查臉書和蘋果被指控的不公平商業行為。

“She has these accomplishments, but she didn’t get as much as she wanted,” said David Balto, a former lawyer in the Justice Department’s antitrust division whose clients now include large tech companies. “Now she can be more aggressive.”

律師巴爾托曾在美國司法部反壟斷部門任職,目前的客戶就包括科技業大公司,他說:「維斯特格取得了這些成就,但並不如自己預期的多,現在她可以更強勢。」

But 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.

不過,維斯特格的行動計畫只是一份願望清單,要成功有賴歐盟其他官員支持合作,而他們已為英國脫離歐盟、民粹風潮興起和與美國外交關係緊張等種種挑戰而頭痛。

It will require standing up to relentless resistance from the tech companies, too.

“One of the important things is, of course, to prioritize because otherwise you will be in the process of back and forth for a very, very long time,” Vestager said.

維斯特格要成功,還得禁得起科技公司持續不斷的強烈抵抗。

維斯特格說:「當然,很重要的一點是要排出事情的優先順序,否則你會進進退退很長、很長一段時間。」

Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/347894/web/

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