As previously announced, the Italian Law of 22nd December 2011, No 214 on “Conversion, with amendments, of Decree Law of 6th December 2011, No 201 “(also known as the Monti Economic Measures ) was published in the Ordinary Supplement No 276 of Official Gazette No. 300 of December 27th, 2011.
The law, which came into force on the 28th of December, 2011, introduces the forecasted revolution of the Italian Privacy Code.
It should be noted that the conversion law has not led to further changes to the Privacy Code except for those already contained in the Decree Law of 6th December 2011.
In order to simplify compliance regarding privacy, the changes have effectively eliminated the right to protection of personal data for private and public bodies in Italy.
The following are the details of the changes to the regulations on personal data protection.
In Art. 4, paragraph 1, lett. b) of the Civil Code the notion of “personal data” is drastically reduced. All reference to private and public bodies or associations has disappeared from the definition and it has also been excluded from the category of “interested party”, referred to in subparagraph i).
In other words, only information relating to natural persons is now protected and only natural persons can exercise their rights under Art. 7, such as, for example, the right to find out the source of their personal data, to request their being updated, their rectification, their cancellation or to oppose their processing for commercial or advertising purposes.
In line with the rationale of these changes, the Monti measures also delete the last sentence of Art. 9, paragraph 4, of the Privacy Code, which set out the details of how to identify the natural person entitled to exercise the above rights on behalf of private bodies, public bodies or associations
Paragraph 3 bis of art. 5, has also been deleted even though it was only introduced a few months ago by the so-called “Development Decree” and which excluded from the application of the privacy Code the processing of data carried out by companies, organizations or associations for administrative and accounting purposes.
Letter h) of Art. 43 concerning the transfer of data of legal persons abroad has also been deleted.
In any case, the significant innovations provided for by Law 214 of 2011 do not affect obligations which companies processing personal data relating to individuals must comply with.
It is likely that this “liberalization” of the use of company data will benefit advertising activities targeted at companies and a clarifying comment by the Authority for the protection of personal data on this matter is not to be excluded.