Questions from French edition of ELLE

This interview

Audrey Tang, a first question on the protocol of this interview, which is quite unusual for french medias. Would you explain us why it is important, according to you, to follow the rules of the transparency ?

This demystifies the work of politicians and journalists and contributes to our basic education curriculum’s media competence materials.


Why did you start coding ? You were quite young when you began (8 years old), what caught your attention ?

To me, programming is just like making music — the notes are logic and the melody is human interaction.

Do you think children should be taught how to code/program and why ?

Computational thinking and design thinking are learned — but not necessarily taught through coding classes — in primary schools.

Can you define what « total transparency » and « digital democracy » are ?

Instead of “total”, radical transparency means transparency at root — or by default.

To me, a digital democracy is democracy with the use of the digital spaces, so that millions of people can listen to one another.

You defined yourself as a « post gender conservative anarchist ». What does it mean ?

I wouldn’t feel that half a population is different from me, and I work with a transcultural republic of citizens without giving or taking orders.

What do you do when you have « free time » ?

Troll hugging is my hobby.


Could you depict Taiwan digital strategy to face coronavirus pandemic ?

It ensured a “fast, fair and fun” response.

Could it be possible to reach the same kind of result in bigger countries ? (In France, we are 70 000, 35 000 people dead with the covid)

We learned our lessons from SARS in 2003 and share it with the world. All countries can learn from the current pandemic and prepare for the next epidemic to save more lives.

Do you think digital tracking is dangerous and threatens civils rights ?

Yes, which is why we are very careful not to collect new data in the name of the counter-pandemic effort.

How do you consider the defiance in European countries toward digital tracking ?

I think of the three main sectors, the social sector has a higher legitimacy in self-tracking and contact notification systems.

Do foreign government (especially europeans) ask you advise and information on the strategy you develop in handling the pandemic ? And the World Health Organization ?

Throughout this year I participated in many epicenter-to-epicenter conversations as well as digital forums.

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