What’s new in Italy
E-Lex roundup 2021
Virtual is real: the legal challenges of the metaverse
The concept of the metaverse and its impact will be very profound on the lives of each of us in the coming years. What are the legal challenges of the use of virtual reality on a large scale and for uses that are not just for games and fun presents questions and raises the need for further study and interpretation for those who deal with law and new technologies.
E-Lex discusses this trend and the challenges of legal interpretation in an article published in TOP LEGAL Focus Technology and AI no. 4/2021.
Data protection and competition
Italian Competition Authority fines Google and Apple for violating the principle of informed consent and free choice guaranteed by the Consumer Code and the European regulation on the protection of personal data
The new Guidelines for Data Protection Officer
On April 29, the Italian Data Protection Authority issued a guidance document containing important indications on the figure of the DPO.
The document contains interesting information regarding the actual role of the DPO within the holder’s structure, as well as specifications on:
- professional experience that the DPO is required to have;
- incompatibility with other roles;
- possible conflicts of interest.
Cookies: The Italian Data Protection Authority issued New Guidelines
The Italian Data Protection Authority approved the new guidelines on cookies and other tracking tools following the examination of the contributions received during the consultation process which ended in January. Data controllers will have six months from publication in the State Gazette to comply with the principles contained in the guidelines.
Data protection and algorithm
Algorithm’s transparency: a new decision issued by the Italian Supreme Court
The Italian Supreme Court, upholding an appeal by the Italian Data Protection Authority, issued an important decision on transparency in the processing of personal data carried out using algorithms. The Court stated that in the case of the use of an algorithm to determine a reputation profile of users on a digital platform, consent is not sufficient per se where there is no absolute transparency on the algorithm’s operating scheme. In the absence of this, the processing must be considered unlawful as consent cannot be considered validly given.
IP, Competition and Innovation
European Directive on Copyright: Italian Government approved the implementing decree
On November 4, 2021, the Italian Government approved, in final examination, 18 legislative decrees implementing European acts, transposing, among others, the European Directive 2019/790 of the European Parliament and of the Council on Copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market (so-called “Copyright Directive”). The scope of the provision is to ensure greater protection for copyright owners and a fairer functioning market through clear, transparent and appropriate rules in the digital era.
For more information on the new provisions of the Copyright Directive, please note that Giovanni Maria Riccio published a paper on the “Ancillary Copyright and Liability of Intermediaries in the EU Directive Proposal on Copyright”.
Please note that in January 2021 the e-book on “100 Questions and Answers on Intellectual Property in the Times of the Internet” was published in collaboration with E-Lex.
Dieselgate: E-Lex wins for Altroconsumo in the class action against Volkswagen
After more than 5 years of litigation, the Court of Venice, in its first instance judgment, ruled in favor of the italian consumer association Altroconsumo and recognized that the conduct of the Volkswagen – VW Group in the dieselgate affair constituted an unfair commercial practice to the detriment of consumers. In fact, the company had boasted about the sustainability of its products, having bypassed the pollutant emission control system. The VW group was therefore fined to compensate the damages in favour of the members of the class action. E-Lex, with a team led by Dario Reccia and Maria Laura Salvati assisted Altroconsumo.
Fight against audiovisual piracy: the Italian National Police’s Operation Black Out
In a press release of May 14, 2021, the Italian National Police announced a huge operation (“Operation Black Out”) against audiovisual piracy against the phenomenon of illegal IP TV. The criminal activity in question accounts for approximately 1,500,000 users who pay EUR 10 per month and has produced a business volume for criminals of EUR 15,000,000 per month, resulting in a much higher loss of revenue for pay-TV service providers.
Please note that on December 2021 has been published the “Mapping report on national remedies against online piracy of sports content” of the European Audiovisual Observatory of the Council of Europe, authored by Giovanni Maria Riccio and Fabiola Iraci Gambazza.
Law transposing the European Electronic Communications Code published on the Italian Official Gazette
With Law 2021/53, the national legislator established the criteria for transposing Directive 2018/1972 on the so-called European Electronic Communications Code. Specifically, in Article 4 of the law in question, the legislator has identified the principles and criteria for the implementation of the above mentioned Directive, including: a) reorganise the provisions of the Italian Code of Electronic Communications; b) provide new competencies for the Italian Communications Guarantee Authority (in Italian “Autorità per le garanzie nelle comunicazioni”, the “AGCOM”); and c) introduce simplification measures for the development of connectivity and to boost investments in ultra-wideband networks.
Data trade and consumer protection: Italian Administrative Supreme Court rejects Facebook’s appeal over Italian Antitrust Authority’s sanction
On March 29, 2021, the Italian Supreme Administrative Court (in Italian, “Consiglio di Stato”) – with judgment no. 02631/2021 – ruled on the appeal filed by Facebook with reference to the sanctioning measure issued by the AGCM, confirming the commercial unfairness in presenting services to users as free, actually charging them in data.
Please note that in February 2021 Facebook was again sanctioned by the AGCM for failing to comply with the warning to remove the unfair practice on the use of user data and have not published the corrective statement requested by the Authority within the scope of the aforementioned measure.
National Strategy 2022-2024 is now published
Italy has adopted the Strategic Programme for Artificial Intelligence (AI) 2022-2024 thanks to the joint work of the Ministry for Universities and Research, the Ministry for Economic Development, the Minister for Technological Innovation and Digital Transition, and the support of the working group on the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence.
The Programme outlines twenty-four policies to be implemented over the next three years to enhance the AI system in Italy.
It has been adopted a new regulation on the modalities of public contract procedures digitalization
The Minister of Public Administration Decree no. 148 of the 12th August 2021 has been published in the Gazzetta Ufficiale. It concerns the modalities for the digitalization of public contract procedures,
This is a long-awaited regulation. Nevertheless, it will be necessary to wait for the guidelines to be adopted by the Agency for Digital Italy, in order to make it fully operational.
Published the cloud strategy: here are the choices of the Government
During the month of September, the Minister for Technological Innovation and Digital Transition presented the “Strategy Cloud Italy”. The document explores the strategic aspects for the migration path to the cloud of digital data and services of administrations. The text also clearly illustrates the classification criteria and the composition of the highly reliable infrastructure (National Strategic Pole) that will host the strategic and critical services.
The new regulation on cybersecurity in Italy has been published
In Italy, a new and important regulation on cyber security has been published in the Official Gazette of the Italian Republic. The Regulation governs the notifications of IT incidents involving networks, information systems and IT services of public administrations.
In addition, the Council of Ministers approved a Law-Decree by which has been established the “National Agency for Cybersecurity”.
Please note that on March 2021 has been published “Cyber Forensics e indagini digitali – Manuale tecnico-giuridico e casi pratici” authored by Stefano Aterno.
Read the book “Cyber Forensics e indagini digitali – Manuale tecnico-giuridico e casi pratici”
Please note that on September 2021 has been published the podcast “Cosa devono fare le PA per contrastare gli attacchi ransomware?” made by Ernesto Belisario as part of the project “La Pa Digitale”.
Listen the podcast
The switch offs of digital administration
The law decree no. 76 of the 16th of July 2020 called “Urgent measures for simplification e digital innovation” has made significant changes to the Digital Administration. The “switch offs” scheduled for 28 February 2021 about online services: digital identity, digital payments and AppIO.
28 February 2021 represents the date by which public administrations:
- integrate into their own information systems SPID and CIE (Identity Card Electronics) as the only identification system for accessing digital services.
- integrate the pagoPA platform for online payments.
- starts the digital transformation projects necessary to make its services available on the appIO