|A Privacy Development Laboratory
The Individual Comes First
A "Privacy Development Lab" has been set up at the Italian Data Protection Authority. This initiative stems from the belief that privacy is fundamental with a view to the full expression of everyone’s potentialities in accordance with the objectives everyone has set himself/herself.
Starting from the core issue of the free construction of one’s own private sphere and the full-fledged exercise of "self-sovereignty", the Laboratory under the guidance of Mr. Giuseppe Fortunato, one of the members of the Authority’s collegiate panel, is aimed at probing into analyses, tools, and systems to fully achieve one’s own objectives.
This Laboratory is meant first and foremost as a forum for the free exchange of views among all the entities that are keen to contribute to this issue, where analyses can be developed and proposals put forward. The debate on these topics that play a key role in order to freely develop one’s private sphere and fully exercise "self-sovereignty" must be unrestrained and framed constructively. The Laboratory has been devised as a means to foster everyone’s contribution in accordance with a work-in-progress scheme. A circular pattern of operation is envisaged for the Laboratory: starting from an open-ended text that explains how to achieve one’s own objectives, proposals can be put forward, and the text can be worded anew to continue discussion.
"THE TURNING POINT": a text to start from
In order to spark up debate, the Co-ordinator of the Laboratory drew up an ad-hoc text - called LA SVOLTA ("THE TURNING POINT") - which will provide the initial food for thought. Achieving the objective one has set himself/herself is proof that the operational system deployed to that purpose, i.e. the whole gamut of questions, answers, attitudes, behaviours, and interactive operational strategies, is on the whole appropriate.
Based on analyses, comparisons and modelling - at times unconscious - as well as by learning from one’s negative experiences, everyone can improve, at least in part, his own operational systems during his life and often avails himself of those systems also for different purposes.
"THE TURNING POINT" describes a systematic network of researches, solutions, approaches, methods and strategies, following investigations carried out via in-field analyses as well as by having regard to the actions implemented by leading figures in order to achieve their own concrete objectives. The text is basically application-oriented and aimed at highlighting and developing common features in the different success stories; to that end, management researches are also re-considered by working out data and tools coming from different sectors.
The various issues are presented in the form of as many modules, using ad-hoc arrangements and formulae, which can allow immediately appreciating issues and tools - so that the research performed can be functional and lend itself to sound application - and is mindful, above all, of the natural processes that are typical of human learning.
The choice to focus on the "searching ego" is also aimed at providing readers with a text that can be tackled at different levels so as to foster personal development.
"Everyone has the right to respect for his or her private life"
Privacy also means the right to fully express one’s own potentialities
Everyone has the right to the lawful processing of his or her personal data. Along with this inviolable right, everyone has the equally inviolable right to autonomously and effectively modify one’s personal sphere so as to create a daily reality that he or she has selected for himself or herself and is such as to make him or her especially happy.
"Personal identity" is - jointly with confidentiality and the right to data protection - a fundamental value/benchmark that must be taken into special account in assessing respect for fundamental rights and freedoms as well as for dignity.
The "Privacy Development Lab" set up at the Italian Data Protection Authority is a "forum" stripped of all formalities, where everyone can provide their own contribution to probe deeper into the patterns, mechanisms, and tools that can be helpful in freely developing their own personal identities in accordance with their wishes, by pursuing the objectives everyone has freely set himself or herself. Indeed, privacy is not merely the indisputable right to prevent all and sundry from encroaching upon the boundaries of "our world"; it is also the equally indisputable right to freely express and fulfil one’s own deepest desires and wishes by drawing unreservedly and in full upon all one’s potentialities. "Everyone has the right to respect for his or her private life" (Section 67 of the Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe); to respect private life also means to allow everyone to fulfil his or her dreams, not to give up what he or she sees as happiness, to be personally in control of every single feature of his or her life - knowing that nobody may (and can) hinder him or her in this undertaking.
Therefore, privacy and the related right to personal identity can be considered to bring about a reversal of perspective, to be a "turning point" compared with the coercive application of prefab standards - whatever their nature - to the individual. No human being is a product in need of standardisation; in fact, every human being is the focus as well as the maker of his or her own designs and projects. Every individual has several skills and capabilities at his or her disposal to build up his or her life. The Laboratory is aimed at analysing the conditions that can allow everyone to follow the pattern that is most suitable for his or her own specificities.
The work-in-progress scheme implemented for the Laboratory is meant to allow everyone to contribute as if to a major collective work, on how everyone can manage to turn his or her "dream identity" into his or her "real-life identity". Raising awareness of the possibility for everyone to choose their own ways and means by respecting what others have freely chosen is aimed at bringing about a better kind of society.
Refraining from the imposition of uniform behaviour and affording everyone the opportunity not to be obliged to take on "coercive" identities are preconditions for living in any social community.
The right to be different and reject any kind of standardisation is a fundamental prerequisite for the individual to be and feel unique, alive, authentic, and happy - and thereby bring happiness to others: his family, friends, fellow workers, and society as a whole.