Even Thumbs Deserve Privacy

This article published by Il Fatto Quotidiano is illustrated by a photo that portrays a policeman from the mobile team of Rome and an arrested man whose image is blurred. Not, as you might think without seeing it, on the face that also has a winking expression towards the photographer, but on the hand that is shaped in the pose (the thumb raised) universally become synonymous with “I like it”.

The expression of the arrested subject is disturbing because it is no different from that of a star crossing the red carpet of a film festival or a sports champion celebrating a victory. And it reinforces the mistaken perception – further distorted by television series such as Narcos and Gomorrah – that there is an aesthetic of evil in the name of which, by committing atrocious acts, one can become famous.

This “right thumb” attached to the hand of an ordinary person accused of a crime obviously means that from the desire for a “moment of glory” experienced in film/television fiction we have moved on to the lust of a celebrity at all costs, including that of becoming a protagonist of a crime story.

I don’t know who (whether the photographer or the newspaper) has made the choice to blur the anatomical detail of the arrested, but in both cases I can’t find a reasonable explanation, except for the one that, by now, even the thumbs have a right to their privacy.

Light Spam is not a criminal offense says the Italian Supreme Court

The Italian Supreme Court – III criminal branch ruled that “light spam” is not a criminal offense under both the pre and post GDPR enforcement in Italy.

Section 167 of the Italian Data Protection Code holds as a criminal offense the illegal processing of personal data when the processing is carried on by causing “nocumento” (a legal concept different from “damage”, “tort” or “threat”, that is related to the causation of an infringement of the personal or financial sphere of the individual ). So, for somebody to be charged of this criminal offense, the sole element of unauthorized processing is not enough. Continue reading “Light Spam is not a criminal offense says the Italian Supreme Court”

Why The Reasonable Privacy Expectation is a Flawed Test

In Protecting Personal Information we (Professor Wacks and I) argue that the right to privacy should be considered as the right to control our own personal information, where the attribute “personal” means “related to the intimate sphere of the individual.”

A major critics to this approach is held by those who find our definition of “personal information” to vague because what is “personal” for subject A may not be alike for subject B. In contrast, they favour the “reasonable privacy expectation” test that is (supposed to be) an objective standard in ECHR Article 10 cases.

I think that this criticism has no merit. Continue reading “Why The Reasonable Privacy Expectation is a Flawed Test”