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Italy: Electronic Card for Access to Cultural Activities

(Oct. 12, 2017) On September 19, 2017, regulations on special electronic cards to be used to access cultural activities entered into effect in Italy.  (Decree No. 187 of the President of the Council of Ministers of September 15, 2016, Regulations on the Criteria and Modalities for the Allocation and Use of the Electronic Card as Provided for in Article 1 ¶ 979 of Law No. 208 of December 28, 2015, and Its Subsequent Amendments (D.P.R. No. 187), GAZZETTA UFFICIALE (G.U.) (Sept. 18, 2017), NORMATTIVA (in Italian).)  The special card was created by Law No. 208, a budget law, as a means to promote the development of Italian culture and knowledge of Italy’s cultural heritage among all lawful residents who are at least 18 years of age.  (Law No. 208 of December 28, 2015, Provisions on the Formation of the Annual and Pluriannual Budget of the State (Stability Law of 2016) (Law No. 208), G.U. No. 302 (Dec. 30, 2015), art. 1 ¶ 979, NORMATTIVA (in Italian); D.P.R. No. 187, arts. 2(1) & 4(1).)

The electronic card may be used to attend theatrical or movie performances, buy books at bookstores, or gain access to museums, cultural events, monuments, galleries, archeological areas, natural parks, and concerts and other live performances.  (Law No. 208.)  Funds originating from different sources, both governmental and non-governmental, are deposited on the electronic card delivered to each benficiary.  (Id.)  The law stipulates a cap of €500 (about US$591) as the maximum annual amount allowed for each electronic card.  (Id.)

The regulations introduce amendments to the legal regime governing the electronic card:

  • to include the acquisition of copyrighted music, theatrical performances, and studies of foreign languages among the activities covered by the card (P.R. No. 187, art. 1(1)(a));
  • to validate the extension of the term for beneficiaries to enroll in the electronic card registry already approved through a government decree ( art. 1(2)(a));
  • to allow persons reaching 18 years of age on or before December 31, 2018, to obtain the electronic card (id. art. 1(2)(g));
  • to provide that the Italian Data Protection Authority must be given notice of proposed measures adopted by the administrators of the electronic card before approving regulations concerning the management and preservation of personal data associated with the card (id. art. 1(2)(i); Garante per la Protezione dei Dati Personali [Personal Data Protection Authority] (last visited Sept. 29, 2017) (in English)); and
  • to establish that the criteria and conditions for the regulation of the personal data obtained and stored within the course of use of the electronic card are subject to the agreements entered into between the Ministry of Assets and Cultural Activities and Tourism and the General Information Technology Company (Societa’ Generale d’Informatica S.p.A (SOGEI)). (P.R. No. 187, art. 2(1).)