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The collection of personal information, including biometric and ethnicity data, is being used as a standard tool in migration management. The notion of consent is often disregarded, which is particularly problematic when minority and vulnerable groups are concerned.
The shadow of Russia has always loomed over the internet, but the pandemic, which moved citizen’s lives into the digital sphere, saw a rise in security breaches within European businesses and institutions. Cyber attacks against key European sectors doubled in 2020. Although Brussels is working to plug the gaps, the invasion of Ukraine threatens to intensify the cyber war.
Football, the gym, personal visits, all came to an abrupt end in Hungarian prisons as the coronavirus outbreak hit. Since then, prisoners and relatives have taken to Skype. The lack of face-to-face meetings has been offset by the fact that the great majority of prisoners have been vaccinated.
Cramped, often unhygienic, and already characterised by numerous restrictions, many prisons in Europe were hit hard by the pandemic. In Italy, where prison facilities are among the most overcrowded in the EU, the pandemic aggravated a number of preexisting systemic problems.
"The epidemic has been contained at the cost of enormous sacrifices for France’s prison population", says Dominique Simonnot, French chief prisons inspector.
Despite European hopes being invested in the technology, contact tracing apps have only succeeded in tracking 5% of registered cases since they were introduced in the EU. The lack of public confidence in the scheme has proven to be an insurmountable hurdle.
In many European countries, containing the spread of Covid-19 has come at the price of human rights. European prisoners have had to endure extended isolation, suspended visiting hours, and the cancellation of training and recreational activities.
Aurélie, 27, spent several years in prison. Maxime, 35, was an inmate in the Paris region, where the overcrowding rate is 160%. Like 13,000 other prisoners, he got out thanks to early-release measures enacted between March and May 2020. They told us their stories.
Regulation of the European Parliament is highly voluntary. Compared to 90 percent of Swedish, Danish or Finnish MEPs who disclose meetings with interest groups, only one out of ten Greek, Polish and Bulgarian MEPs do so.
Big tech companies bring in plenty of traffic for media outlets but take a disproportionate chunk of the earnings. And even when agreements are signed, it’s Big Tech that sets the rules