By Frederike Kaltheuner, Mozilla Foundation and Corinne Cath-Speth, Oxford Internet Institute & Alan Turing Institute

blue radar screen with yellow stars. COVID-19 virus floating
blue radar screen with yellow stars. COVID-19 virus floating

The COVID-19 pandemic temporarily upended the European Union’s (EU) most defining principle: free movement across the continent. To stop the rapid spread of the virus, most of its Member States closed their borders and reinstated stringent border checks. It’s hard to understate how unprecedented and historical this decision that has been. All the more surprising, that Member States are struggling to coordinate on a European-wide tech system to support contact tracing, which many consider could play at least a small part in loosening restrictions and…


Extended, written version of comments delivered at the European Parliament on December 12, 2019

Watch the full hearing here: https://www.greens-efa.eu/en/article/event/automated-discrimination/

First of all, I would like to thank the Digital Working Group of the Greens/EFA, specifically MEPs Alexandra Geese, Patrick Breyer, Marcel Kolaja, Kim van Sparrentak, Sergey Lagodinsky and Damian Boeselager for holding a hearing on this important and timely issue and for inviting me to speak here today. I would also like to thank the previous panel for doing such an excellent job at explaining bias and societal imbalances in algorithmic systems.

Part I — making sure that technology works for all

I’m very glad that you are holding this event, since discrimination is such…


Lecture at Birkbeck University of London — Law on Trial 2019

Thanks so much for the opportunity to speak here today.

Before I begin with my remarks, I would like to state a number of assumptions that I take for granted.

The first one is quite optimistic. It is the premise that technological world we live in is not inevitable. In fact, one of the post pressing tasks of our generation — next to the climate crisis, inequality and a number of other issues— is to establish and vigorously defend the rights, norms and rules that govern powerful technologies — the companies that built them, and the governments that deploy them.


The Museum Of Things, Berlin

1. Chinese Ads in World Cup

Someone spent millions on stadium ads for the 2010 soccer world cup finals, but I’m clearly not the audience. Goodbye Eurocentrism.

2. Pregnancy? Maybe baby!

I spot a pregnancy test to-go at a Berlin train station. “Pregnant? maybe baby!” Seen from S-Bahn, somewhere between Hauptbahnhof and Ostkreuz in Berlin.

3. The graduate job market

Teach first (the equivalent of Teach for America) has become the third largest graduate employer in the UK.

4. Famous Artist Internship

A friend just told be about a friend of his who did an unpaid internship with Jonathan Meese. Buying paint, answering phone calls.

5. Departure: Berlin, arrival: Rome, destination: we.

Long distance relationships have become so common, that Lufthansa target adds to long-distance couples.

6. Space travel


Discrediting Greece’s leftist government as “ideological” has become a standard rhetoric in the on-going eurozone crisis. Framing the troika’s proposals as unideological, logical and inevitable is the real threat to the future of a democratic Europe.

June 29, 2015

Turmoil hits the international financial world as Greek banks shut for a week, triggering a new phase of the eurozone crisis. What has motivated Alex Tsipras to break all rules of diplomacy and call for a referendum on the country’s bailout deal?


Last weekend, the British intelligence agency took a symbolic stance against homophobia. Even if the gesture was genuine, is a perfect example of how the struggle for gay rights is hollow unless it is embedded in a larger political project.

May 17, is a special day for the LGBT community around the word. Exactly twenty-five years ago, the International World Health Organisation (WHO) removed homosexuality from the International Classification of Disease. This year, the British intelligence agency GCHQ decided the join the celebration with a spectacular symbolic…

Frederike Kaltheuner

Holding tech to account. Mozilla Tech Policy Fellow, writer, researcher and activist

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