With the pandemic, interviews in prisons have necessarily reduced, in some cases they have even been canceled. And to allow inmates to communicate with relatives, video calls via Skype, Messenger or other platforms have almost always been introduced, which as far as possible have followed the same security and privacy protocols as in-person meetings. Something, however, must not have worked, if the interviews of the detainees ended up on social platforms such as TikTok, so yesterday the Guarantor for the protection of personal data and the National Guarantor for the rights of persons deprived of personal liberty released a press release joint to recall “the managements of prisons and the operators responsible for respecting certain essential guarantees for the protection of the confidentiality of detainees who access this method of communication or interview”.
“It is a principle of legal civilization that we believe to be absolute and incompressible, that video phone calls and Skype interviews of detainees must be carried out in accordance with the minimum conditions of confidentiality and, in particular, the prohibition of auditory control by the prison police, is a principle of legal civilization that we consider absolute and incompressible, obviously subject to different provisions of the judicial authority. We therefore appreciate and share the precise observations of the Authority for the protection of personal data. The paradox, however, is that it happens more and more often that interviews or other activities of prisoners are recorded and published on social platforms such as TikTok, probably with the complicity of third parties, to mock and mock the institutions “. This was underlined in a note by Gennarino De Fazio, secretary of the UILPA Penitentiary Police, following the calls and recommendations to ensure respect for the privacy of inmates’ video calls.
“It is clear – continues the leader of UILPA PP – that the new impetus and the news introduced in the discipline of detainees’ interviews following the Covid-19 pandemic and that have expanded the possibilities of communication via Skype and, in general, video calls between the restricted ones and their respective relatives raise a series of emerging issues, both of an organizational and technical nature. On the one hand, in fact, it is necessary to organize the prisons, also by creating special posts or improving the existing ones, and to shape the operational protocols in order to to reconcile the security needs with those of protecting the confidentiality of conversations, on the other hand it is essential to introduce technical and legal measures that prevent and sanction the recording and dissemination of video calls or other video messages in order to mock the institutions and, in particular , the Penitentiary Police Corps or, even more dangerously, of vehicles are messages outside “. “Also on this issue, which is part of the broader one of digitization, therefore – concludes De Fazio – we hope that the Minister of Justice, Marta Cartabia, and the always attentive Head of the DAP, Bernardo Petralia, will open a space for discussion and tangible solutions in the field “.