Guido Scorza

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Caso Google-Vividown: un bel saggio che deve far riflettere.

16 maggio 2010

Ho appena finito di leggere il saggio pubblicato in questi giorni dal Prof. Giovanni Sartor – Maestro ed amico – e da un suo – evidentemente bravo, stando a quanto leggo – allievo, Mario Viola de Azevedo Cunha.

Ne consiglio la lettura a quanti abbiano sin qui seguito la vicenda Google-Vividown perché gli autori oltre a ricostruire in modo puntuale ed esaustivo l’intera storia ed ad analizzare con straordinaria serenità e rigore scientifico la decisione del Giudice Magi, traggono – ed invitano a trarre – da quanto accaduto alcune importanti conclusioni sul ruolo degli internet service providers con particolare riferimento al rapporto tra responsabilità di questi ultimi, disciplina sulla privacy e libertà di manifestazione del pensiero nel framework del web 2.0, un contesto che – a detta degli stessi autori – non sembra esser stato puntualmente compreso dal Tribunale di Milano.

E’ sin troppo facile – e probabilmente avvertirete la stessa sensazione – sottoscrivere parola per parola l’analisi di Giovanni Sartor e Mario Viola de Azevedo Cunha.

L’analisi della Sentenza del Giudice Magi è costruita attorno a queste otto domande alle quali, gli autori – ed io con loro – suggeriscono, nella più parte dei casi, risposte diverse da quelle che a ritenuto di dare il Tribunale di Milano,giungendo poi all’ormai noto verdetto:

1. Is Italian Data protection law applicable?
2. Did the video contain personal data, and in particular health data?
3. Who processed the video?
4. Should Google have requested the consent of the disabled teenager in order to process his data?
5. Should Google have informed the uploaders about data protection requirements?
6. Could Google be liable under civil law (tort liability)?
7. Is Google exempted from liability, being a host-service provider?
8. Is there an exemption for freedom of expression?

Qui di seguito le conclusioni del saggio:

In conclusion, it seems to us that the decision of the Italian judge is defective in various regards.
First of all it fails to address some of the fundamental prerequisites of criminal liability, namely, establishing the applicability of Italian criminal law, and determining whether the required mens rea existed in this case.
Secondly, it fails to provide a precise analysis of why Google’s omission to inform users about privacy law would qualify as a failure to inform data subjects about the processing of their data.
Thirdly and most important, it fails to conceptualise the role of platforms providers in the context of the web 2.0, and their enabling function with regard to user- generation of contents.
Contrary to the opinion of the judge, it seems to us that even with regard to the violations of data protection, the current rules limiting the liability of host providers with regard to the contents published in their web sites would give the most appropriate balance between the interests and the rights involved in cases like the one here presented.

These considerations do not exclude the need that providers take some initiatives concerning the education of their users with regard to data protection. New regulations should indeed be issued by the Data protection authorities urging platform providers to provide their users with better information about the need that they act respecting other people’s right, as suggested by the Article 29 working party. We think that such precautions would be fully consistent with the limitation of the provider’s liability since they do not impose any censorship on users, but are only meant to make them aware of their pre-existing data protection duties.

Suggerisco però di non rinunciare alla lettura integrale dell’articolo che, peraltro, trovo di grande attualità ed utilità anche in relazione alla recente iniziativa del Governo di promuovere un Codice di autodisciplina per la tutela della dignità delle persona online.

Un passaggio su tutti, credo meriti di essere riportato e ritengo debba far riflettere:

As it has often been observed, establishing provider’s liability for user-generated content presupposes authorising the provider to exercise the controls that may prevent its liability, i.e., empowering it to exclude all those contents that might generate liability. The provider would then become the gatekeeper of the Internet, exercising a preventive and proactive control over the distribution of user-generated content. Any potentially controversial information would then likely be prevented from reaching public accessibility. In particular, any information concerning third parties would likely be blocked by providers fearing incrimination of civil liability for violation of data protection (or intellectual property). Users’ freedom to express their views and to participate in the creation of culture would suffer unacceptable constrains, and similarly, the generativity of the Internet would be compromised.

Buona lettura e buna riflessione.

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