Gunther Oettinger criticised the famous for putting naked photos online.
Progressive politicians have slated the incoming EU digital commissioner for his remarks that victims of the celebrity photo leaks were "dumb" for taking intimate pictures and putting them online.
Gunther Oettinger, a politician from Germany’s ruling Christian Democratic Union told a meeting in Brussels on Monday of his disbelief at the "stupidity" of celebrities.
"If someone is dumb enough to as a celebrity take a nude photo of themselves and put it online, they surely can’t expect us to protect them," he said."I mean stupidity is something you cannot, or can only partly, save people from."
His comments have been criticised in progressive circles amid scepticism about his suitability for the role, given a lack of technological experience.
Julia Reda, an MEP for the German Pirate Party, which campaigns on digital rights, accused the next EU Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society of blaming the victims, adding that his comments reflected "worrying patterns of sexism that are widespread in society".
"The person applying to be in charge of shoring up trust in the internet so that Europeans do more business online just victim-blamed people whose personal data was accessed and spread without authorisation," she said.
Jan Philipp Albrecht, an MEP for the German Green party, told the Guardian that Oettinger "still hasn’t understood the real problem behind these leaked pictures".
"Serious questions need to be asked about the security of cloud systems currently in use, and asking those questions is very much part of the job remit of the next EU commissioner for digital society."