Rome

Guarding privacy of vulnerable 'top priority' says Speaker

Boldrini cites Italian teen who killed self after Facebook video

Guarding privacy of vulnerable 'top priority' says Speaker

(see related) Rome, June 11 - Protecting vulnerable people like minors from exposure and abuse on the Internet should be the first priority for privacy protection, said Italian House Speaker Laura Boldrini on Tuesday. "When we speak of privacy that needs to be guaranteed, I believe we need to think first of all about those who are most exposed, like the young people struggling with the Web. It is an emergency that I never get tired of underlining," Boldrini told the House during the presentation of Italy's privacy authority report. "The web has extraordinary potential for emancipation, freedom and cultural growth, but requires new consciousness on themes regarding privacy," Boldrini continued, and cited the case of a teenage girl from Novara "who a few months ago decided to end it all after some of her peers, who had abused her, posted two videos on Facebook that depicted her drunk". "A traumatic event, unfortunately not isolated, that calls on us parents, families and schools," but also poses the problem of devising a new approach, Boldrini said. The Speaker also defended the rights of journalists to report on newsworthy people and information, warning against the use of privacy as a pretext to hide information the public deserves to know. "The right to privacy must be reconciled with equally relevant rights, like the right and duty of newsgathering," Boldrini said. "Caring for the privacy and protection of personal data can not ever be used as a pretext to put up barriers to information, nor can they be adopted by the public administration as a reason to avoid furnishing data that transparency requires making accessible. "Recognizing the right to information does not mean that in the name of news the personal sphere can be wrecked. It is the responsibility of media operators to make the distinction between what is news and what is a private affair, or just gossip".

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