venerdì, giugno 18, 2004

EU Elections: Stanca says SMS did not violate privacy

There! That's made us all feel much better, hasn't it! Just when we thought that il Presidente del Consiglio, Silvio Berlusconi was taking us for chumps by sending EVERY single mobile phone owner in Italy an SMS message to encourage them to vote (obviously not for himself! Heaven forbid the thought!) we now have the answer:

The initiatives of the President to send a text message to inform voters on the opening hours at the ballots last Saturday "only anticipated a new way to communicate on a national level, but it certainly did not violate anyone's privacy". And so, the Minister for new technology, Lucio Stanca, who earlier this morning intervened at a conference promoted by the guarantee for the protection of personal data, returned to take on the debate brought up during the last few days. "Perhaps for the first time at a national level, said Stanca, a sort of broadcasting took place via cellular, usually conceived as a point to point connection. Of course, the reaction might have been different if instead of a text message each voter had received a letter. The truth is that the new technology is changing the way of communication not only between people but also in the various institutions dedicated to citizens". No conflicts between privacy and new technology, explains the Minister. On the contrary, "the norms on privacy must be used as an accelerator and not as a stop to the development of new technology. Politics has to capitalise on these opportunities and at the same time reduce risks. We have heavily emphasised the rights on privacy". Stanca still did not hide the fact that "in the trinomial of safety, innovation and privacy there are conflicting aspects and demands, especially in relation to the historical phase in which they are found. Our country still does not seem to realise the vast array of opportunity that comes from innovation and technology. There is indifference, fear and distance, states Stanca. People are illiterate because many do not know how to use computers and small and medium businesses are behind, which has an impact on our modern economy. Our objective is to surpass these obstacles"

So, there!