Ichino Brugnatelli e Associati Studio Legale
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Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media
Employers must ensure that the technical-organisational measures and software that they use are adequate to protect whistleblowers' confidentiality. The data protection authority recently reiterated this point when it fined a major university in Rome for failing to prevent the data of two people who had notified the university of possible data violations from being accessible online.
Following the General Data Protection Regulation's (GDPR's) entry into force, the legislature asked the Data Protection Authority to review and update the so-called 'general authorisations' that it issued to allow the processing of sensitive data in the absence of the data subject's consent. Drawing on Article 9 of the GDPR, the Data Protection Authority subsequently issued Provision 146/2019, which sets out the requirements for processing special categories of data in employment relationships.
With a view to balancing private sector interests and the protection of individual rights, in 2015 the legislature decided that personal data collected through the remote monitoring of employees can be used for disciplinary purposes if employers provide employees with information regarding the scope and purpose of said processing. A recent case established what type of remote monitoring is permitted in the absence of providing the required data protection information.
The Court of Cassation recently rejected a bank's appeal and found that its employee had been entitled to access evaluation documents which had led to disciplinary measures being taken against him. Although the case concerned the regulation of access to personal data under the now rescinded Privacy Code, the decision sets out principles which remain valid under the EU General Data Protection Regulation and further strengthen the rights of data subjects with regard to how their data is processed.
The Criminal Court of Cassation recently confirmed a Milan Court of Appeal judgment which found that an employee who had emailed confidential data to a colleague who was not authorised to access said information had committed the crime of unauthorised access to a computer system under Article 615ter of the Criminal Code. The decision confirms that employers, as data controllers, must take appropriate security measures to ensure the integrity of information systems and data.