Statistical secrecy and protection of personal data
Istat is obliged by law to respect the principle of statistical secrecy (Article 9 of Legislative Decree no. 322/89) upon which the National Statistical System is founded with regard to data collected during its own surveys.
These data, therefore, are used exclusively for statistical purposes and may not be divulged to any party – public or private – outside the National Statistical System, or otherwise published or divulged, except in aggregate form and in such a way that it is impossible to identify the person to whom the data apply.
Compliance with statistical secrecy forms part of the broader principle of personal data protection as provided for by the Ethical code of conduct concerning the protection of personal data (Legislative Decree no. 196/03) and specifically Annex A3, “Ethical code for the processing of personal data for statistical purposes within Sistan”.
Official statistics, therefore, must also safeguard the rights, basic freedoms, and dignity of respondents, in particular with regard to the right to confidentiality and personal identity.
In order to make statistical secrecy and protection of personal data effective, Istat is currently taking appropriate organisational, logistical, methodological and statistical measures in accordance with internationally established standards.
Obligation to respond
Article 7 of Legislative Decree no. 322/89 sets out the obligation on the part of all administrations, public bodies and institutions to provide any data and new information requested of them for surveys that form part of the National Statistical Programme.
Private subjects (firms and households) are also bound by the same obligation, but only for those surveys in the National Statistical Programme included in a specific list approved by Presidential Decree.
The obligation to respond does not apply to sensitive data or data relating to criminal records (e.g. racial and ethnic origin, religious, philosophical or any other kind of beliefs, membership of political parties, unions, associations or organisations of a religious, philosophical or political nature, state of health, sexual practices, criminal proceedings) which by their nature may be provided on a voluntary basis.
Processing of personal data
The data controller with regard to processing of personal data is Istat; the data managers are the Institute’s central directors who may be contacted by data subjects to exercise their rights; the data processors are all staff who carry out data entry and processing tasks.
External subjects who collaborate with Istat in conducting surveys are also designated data managers or data processors .