The Italian Data Protection Authority: Who We Are
The Italian Data Protection Authority (Garante per la protezione dei dati personali) is an independent authority set up to protect fundamental rights and freedoms in connection with the processing of personal data, and to ensure respect for individuals' dignity.
The DPA was set up in 1997, when the former Data Protection Act came into force.
It is a collegiate body including four members, who are elected by Parliament for a seven-year term. The authority has an office in Rome with a staff currently numbering about 125 people.
The Collegiate Panel of the Italian DPA is currently composed of:
- Antonello Soro, President
- Augusta Iannini, Vice-President
- Giovanna Bianchi Clerici, Member
- Licia Califano, Member
Giuseppe Busia is currently Secretary General to the DPA.
Our tasks are set forth in the law (the Data Protection Code 196/2003, which superseded the Data Protection Act 675/1996).
They include the following: supervising compliance with the provisions protecting private life; handling claims, reports and complaints lodged by citizens; banning or blocking processing operations that are liable to cause serious harm to individuals; checking, also on citizens' behalf, into the processing operations performed by police and intelligence services; carrying out on-the-spot inspections to also access databases directly; reporting to judicial authorities on serious infringements; raising public awareness of privacy legislation; fostering the adoption of codes of practice for various industry sectors; granting general authorisations to enable the processing of certain data categories; and participating in Community and international activities, with particular regard to the work of joint supervisory authorities as per the relevant international conventions (Schengen, Europol, Customs Information System).
We draw Parliament's and the Government's attention to the need for regulatory measures in the data protection sector and render mandatory opinions on regulatory instruments and administrative measures drafted by public administrative bodies. We submit an annual report to Parliament describing our activities.
Our Authority has been active from its inception (in 1997) in the social, economic, political, and cultural life of our country. Special importance should be attached to the provisions made in respect of health care, employment, banking, insurance, journalism, telecommunications, video surveillance, marketing, and public administrative agencies. We encouraged the adoption of a Code of practice for journalists (1998) as well as of the codes of practice related to processing of personal data for historical research purposes (2001), for statistical purposes within the framework of the National Statistics System (2002), for statistical purposes by universities, research organisations, and scientific societies (2004), and for the purposes of credit bureaus / CRAs (2004). The use of genetic data for health care and research purposes was also regulated via an instrument (general authorisation) issued in 2007.
Our web site (www.gpdp.it) contains a full range of information on the decisions and opinions issued by our Authority along with the relevant primary and secondary legislation (in Italian). We also publish a Newsletter to report on our activity and the main developments in this area, including international developments.
Garante per la protezione dei dati personali
Piazza di Monte Citorio, 121
00186 Roma – Italy
www.gpdp.it - www.garanteprivacy.it - www.dataprotection.org
Phone +39-06-696771 (exchange)
Email (general inquiries)