Italian Data Protection Act As Censorship Tool

The news of the day is that the lawyers of an indicted Italian politician will ask the Italian Data Protection Authority to block the publication of a video ?covertly-made by a journalist portraying this indicted politician while serving his sentence in and elder-care facility (as a substitution for a 4 month jail term.)

While it is (still) not known whether the request will actually be filed, the news is a confirmation that the Data Protection Act is now seen as an effective tool to remove “unpleasant” information from the public sources in the name of “privacy protection”.

It will be interesting to see if, in this case, the Italian Data Protection Authority will follow the censor attitude showed back in the 2006 in the case of a TV show that exposed several Italian MPs to make use of drugs.

It really doesn’t matter whether, in this case, the Data Protection Authority shall block the video or not. The point is that by confusing “privacy” with “data protection” and giving room to a devious interpretation of the “right to be alone” – such in the Google Spain case – on the long term we are making impossible the work of the future historian and, on the short term, we are favouring the possibility for the powers-that-be to finally get back its dark, quiet obscurity where anything can happens, hidden from the public scrutiny.

In the name of “privacy”.