New measures of the Italian Privacy Authority in order to protect the personal data of citizens whose privacy has been violated by foreign companies

On December 12, 2012, Italian Privacy Authority reported that it is increasing the number of companies, that have their administrative registered office outside the country and the European Union, which violate systematically the personal data of Italian citizens and residents.

Further to this regard, the Italian Privacy Authority acted against the company that manages the social community online www.badoo.com, since some photographs published by an  underage girl on another social networking site had been used by a third party to create a false identity on Badoo. The company, at the request of the Authority, decided to voluntarily remove the fake profile. However, the Italian Authority has reserved to request the assistance of the Information Commissioner, the competent authority in the United Kingdom, in case of any other violations.

In another case, in cooperation with its German Privacy Authority,  the Italian Authority asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Authority is also responsible for the U.S. invasions of privacy, to ascertain the mode of processing of personal data carried out by the U.S. site www. couchsurfing.com. Many people, in fact, have been complaining about how the company that manages the portal has changed the privacy policy of the “hospitality exchange” service provided through the Web: users of that web site would no longer have control over their data, e-mails and photos managed by the site.

Finally, the Italian Authority required cooperation to the Canadian Privacy Commissioner in order to identify the company that manages the service provided by the site www.trovanumeri.com that, under a first preliminary investigation, appears to be hosted by a server of a Canadian company. In particular, several Italian citizens have complained about the diffusion on the web, without their consent and without the possibility of opposition – of their personal data (such as name, address and telephone number).

Source: Privacy Authority