The Italian Constitutional Court first recognized the right to privacy in 1973, when it referred to the protection of individuals’ private life and domicile. Together with the technological evolution of information and the appearance of the Internet, the right to privacy also covers aspects like the type of information collected and how that information is used. Italy adopted the first law with respect to the issue of data protection in 1996, in order to be in accordance with the EU Directive no. 95/46 on Data Protection. In 2008, this legislation was replaced with the Personal Data Protection Code that covers the aspects of all data processing, including online data.
As mentioned above, the Italian legislation also covers IT services among which the most popular are services supplied by internet service providers. Subscribers and users are also protected under the Italian IT legislation. The Personal Data Protection Code defines subscribers as natural persons or Italian companies that supply or receive electronic communication services, while users are defined as natural persons using public electronic services without being a subscriber. The Code does not regulate the electronic communication services provided by Italian IT companies, but the processing of personal data acquired by those companies.
The Personal Data Protection Code specifies Italian IT companies providing electronic communication services may collect and store data on its clients for specific and legitimate purposes and only with the consent of the subscriber or user. Service providers are also entitled to retain all collected data for a period of two years and only with the purpose of detecting and stopping unlawful acts.
In order to ensure transparency, the Italian IT law suggests that the Data Protection Authority should encourage internet service providers to adopt codes of conduct and professional practice with respect to the processing of personal data. Also, in order to ensure the security of the services they provide, Italian companies must take certain security measures.
For complete information about the legislation on information technology, please contact our law firm in Italy.
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