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EU’s Vestager, Silicon Valley nemesis, doesn’t shy from tech

The European Union’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, poses during an interview Monday Jan. 14, 2019, in Copenhagen, Denmark. Vestager, who has challenged big Silicon Valley companies such as Google and Apple with high profile cases, is laying the groundwork for intensified scrutiny of tech firms as she prepares to end her term in office in late 2019. (AP Photo / Kelvin Chan)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The European Union’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, has made her name challenging Silicon Valley tech companies. But the Danish politician isn’t exactly a Luddite when it comes to using technology herself.

She detailed her preferences in a recent interview when it comes to using tech services:

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TWITTER: Vestager is a fan and posts photos of the elephants she knits as a hobby along with businesslike shots from meetings and conferences. “Twitter is sort of my place. I tweet myself, not very regularly but I do it myself,” she said. “And I find it’s a little bit easier to breathe there because there can only be so much hatred in 140 characters.”

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FACEBOOK: While she has an official fan page, Vestager doesn’t often visit. “I don’t go there,” she said. “There’s a lot of angry people” on Facebook. She’s aware people disagree with her but says she doesn’t understand how it is that those emotions get expressed so differently online compared with real life. “It is as if Facebook sort of takes off some of the layers of when we interact as humans.”

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GOOGLE: The U.S. internet giant is just one search site that Vestager uses. She also likes France’s Qwant, Germany’s Clicqz, Microsoft’s Bing and Duckduckgo of the U.S. because she doesn’t want to just get information selected by Google. “I stay curious,” she said. “To me it’s part of the fun.”

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APPLE: Vestager has two iPhones, one for work and one for personal use. She also has a Windows phone, which smartphone makers no longer produce, because she wanted to learn more about how it works. She says keeping them all charged is a bit of an issue.

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AMAZON: Vestager shops on the e-commerce site “but not much” while her husband, Thomas Jensen, a teacher “who reads a lot of French and U.S. books,” is a more frequent user.

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