Digital Czar

Not Neutral on Net Neutrality

The European Union's digital commissioner, Günther Oettinger says about himself to be not a "digital native" and has never used an Uber. Source: dpa
The E.U.'s digital commissioner Günther Oettinger says he is not a "digital native" – and has never used Uber.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Limited data transmission capacity forces Digital Commissioner Mr. Oettinger to select a few privileged receivers while trying to be fair to everybody else.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • The principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally is a hot topic as the European Commission tries to help the continent’s ailing telecommunications sector.
    • Critics say Günther Oettinger is digitally naïve and a poor choice to lead the European Union’s efforts
    • Mr. Oettinger has accused U.S. tech giants of taking large amounts of Europeans’ online data and trying to circumvent tough privacy protections.
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    Audio

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Günther Oettinger, 61, was appointed European Union commissioner for digital economy and society in 2014. Before that, he was minister of the German state Baden-Württemberg from 2005 to 2010 and then became European commissioner for energy for five years. Mr. Oettinger is a member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats. He confessed to German business news magazine WirtschaftsWoche that he’s not a digital native.

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