Investigation by the Italian Privacy Authority, AGCOM, AGCM

by Camilla Mantelli


On February 10, 2020, the Personal Data Protection Authority (Garante per la Protezione dei Dati Personali), the Communications Authority (AGCOM - Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni) and the Competition and Markets Authority (AGCM - Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato) issued the final report of the fact-finding survey on Big Data jointly conducted by them upon an over-30-month long activity. The findings are of rare standing, as for the first time not only in Italy but also in the EU, three bodies at the level of authorities have teamed up for an analysis of this magnitude. 

The fact-finding survey is divided into 5 chapters and a final part.
Chapter 1 introduces the topics covered by the survey and provides a definition and description of the characteristics of Big Data.
Chapter 2 reports the main issues that emerged during the hearings and the contributions of the participants in the survey and their effects on the operations of Italian companies.
Chapter 3 reports AGCOM's considerations on how the Big Data phenomenon affects e-communication and media sector.
Chapter 4 reports the considerations of the Privacy Authority on the possible impact of Big Data on the right to protection of personal data and on the measures and precautions to be taken.
Chapter 5 reports AGCM's considerations on the use of Big Data and the related implications from an antitrust and consumer protection perspective.
The final part describes the guidelines and policy recommendations addressed by the three authorities to the Italian Parliament - including their commitment to set a permanent co-operation among them aimed at studying  the impact of big data on businesses, consumers and citizens and planning interventions thereto related.

The survey investigated, also through hearings and requests for information to companies, trade associations and experts in the matter, the changes deriving from Big Data on those who provide BIg Data, those who use Big Data and eventually on the market overall.  

The impact of Big Data (which IT companies collect, process and store in order to understand, optimise, predict and influence consumers' behaviours) has become so massive in all commercial and professional sectors, that Big Data have acquired the status of extremely valuable economic assets. This is why the survey carried out by the Privacy Authority, AGCOM and AGCM is to be considered as a precious resource for the analysis of current market dynamics. 


big data