COVID-19: destroying (or failing to collect) geolocalization data of the infected people harms Science

In Italy, a “snobbish” conception of the right to privacy and the protection of personal data are about to cause a sensational mistake in the fight against COVID-19: that of destroying (or not collecting) the geolocation data of infected subjects.

The right to privacy can certainly be limited for higher interests, as was the case with freedom of expression, freedom of movement and public gathering and economic freedom. Moreover, the GDPR, if applicable in an emergency regime, would impose nonetheless to protect ALL fundamental rights and freedoms, therefore, life first, and not only “privacy”. Continue reading “COVID-19: destroying (or failing to collect) geolocalization data of the infected people harms Science”

COVID-19: why the Italian government-required “self-certification” doesn’t work

Nobody these days wants to listen to hair-splitting legalese. Still, when this COVID-19 tragedy is over, the survivors hopefully question what happened to our Constitutional rights. Maybe some scholars investigate the flaws of the emergency legislation, or the risks the democratic institutions took, or how the bureaucracy monster has not given up his lust for the sacrifices that feed him.

The case of the “self-certification” of the path and the reasons justifying the departure from home that authorities imposed is the most obvious example. Continue reading “COVID-19: why the Italian government-required “self-certification” doesn’t work”

COVID-19 and “slow Internet complaints” in Italy

Users’ complaints about the poor speed of the Internet connections gain momentum. Petitions, newspaper articles, and timely and inevitable initiatives to “get compensation” accuse operators and Internet providers of not providing “enough bandwidth”. In times of crisis, they say, this “slows down smart-working”, but it isn’t likely so. Continue reading “COVID-19 and “slow Internet complaints” in Italy”

COVID-19 and Constitutional Issues in Italy

There is an increasing criticism of the constitutional legitimacy of government action in the COVID-19 emergency, and even in this specific area, there is inaccurate information circulating about the arbitrary “suspension of individual rights” and the centralization in the hands of the executive of (very) strong powers.

At least from a formal point of view, the rules are followed as the suspension of certain fundamental rights (freedom of assembly, freedom of movement, freedom of teaching, freedom of assembly and freedom of business activities) was ordered by decree-law no. 6 of 23 February 2020. Continue reading “COVID-19 and Constitutional Issues in Italy”

COVID-19: Is the app that tracks users illegal?

“Apps” are multiplying for tracking users affected by COVID-19 and also in Italy – it seems – institutions are evaluating similar solutions while private entities have already developed software of this sort.

Inevitable, and often inappropriate, the alarms for the “violation of privacy” – as if the necessary limitations of the other fundamental rights that we are suffering were nothing at all – and those invoking the GDPR (which, I repeat ad nauseam, does not apply to the protection of public order and security, national security and other associated misfortunes and disasters). But this does not mean that it would be good to overlook the principles of the GDPR. Even putting aside regulatory precepts approaches based on need-to-know (do I need – or right – to process specific data? And who receives them?) and secure software design (OWASP exists “regardless” of the GDPR) are fundamental elements for the functioning of a digital ecosystem, especially in times of emergency. Continue reading “COVID-19: Is the app that tracks users illegal?”