All Italian tax payers' data made public online by the Italian Government

By EDRi · May 7, 2008

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

To the unpleasant surprise of many Italians, for a few hours on 30 April
2008, the Italian government, through its Agenzia delle Entrate, published
on the agency website,, the financial information
filed by all Italian taxpayers.

Although operational only for a few hours, many people had the opportunity
of seeing how much other people were earning, including celebrities. As
Corriere della Sera daily newspaper puts it, the site was “a delicious
opportunity to find out with a click how much your neighbour or colleague
or, for gossip fans, celebrities earn”.

The present centre-left government made public every citizen’s declared
taxable income as part of a crackdown on tax evasion. The action brought
forth the quick attack and critical attitude of consumers, privacy advocates
and politicians alike. The consumer group ADOC considered the action as “a
clear violation of privacy law” as the tax return forms did not include any
request of consent for data publishing, therefore, the appearance of the
data on the Internet being illegal.

At the complaint of the Italian Data Protection Authority for violation of
privacy, the Italian Treasury ordered the national tax office to close down
the site which was providing full details of tax returns, including declared
income and tax paid for 2005 but also names, addresses and birth dates.

The Deputy Finance Minister Vincenzo Visco said he did not see what the
problem was: “It’s all about transparency and democracy”. Massimo Romano,
head of the tax office,considered that the publication had been “in the
public interest, in order to allow the free circulation of information in a
framework of transparency” and he stated that the action had been in
agreement with guidelines from the privacy watchdog. However, Francesco
Pizzetti, the head of the Italian DPA, said that he had not been informed
about this.

The opposition which won the elections last month accused Visco of having
released the data as “an act of revenge”. “It’s a very strange thing to do
on the last day before clearing off” said Guido Crosetto, a member of
Berlusconi’s party who also added: “Taxpayers need to pay less tax, not to
know how much all the other Italians are paying.”

“It’s madness,” was the comment of Beppe Grillo, a very well known Italian
comic. In his opinion the government had “given criminals information about
the income and address of taxpayers.” He also added: “This is going to make
paying taxes very dangerous. (…) It will be much safer and less risky to
just evade taxes and pay the fine if you’re caught.”

Uproar in Italy after Web publishes earning levels (30.04.2008)

Garante Decision on the online financial information (only in Italian,

Fiscal data, what does the law say? (only in Italian, 5.05.2008)–cosa-dice-la-legge-/p.aspx

Fury as tax officials post details of every Italian’s salary on internet

Do the rich pay taxes? Italy tells all (2.05.2008)