The debacle over the online publication of income and tax returns in Italy is not yet over, with Codacons, association for the protection of consumers, making a formal request of compensation to the tune of 20 billion euro for the 38 million citizens whose tax returns were made public by the finance office of the outgoing government.
It all started about at the end of April when the finance office, purportedly in the interests of reducing tax fraud and engendering transparency in the system, published online the income details and tax returns of Italians.
Quite a popular move among the people it appears, as the site was instantly inundated with people checking out the details of others, with a high interest in celebrities and sport stars.
Some people, including my boyfriend, seemed to think it quite natural that you could log on and check out just about anyone’s tax returns including colleagues, friends, neighbours and family members, showing that despite the uproar from privacy groups, curiosity was rife.
While the incoming government accused the previous Prodi administration of making a cynical gesture before closing office, newspaper La Stampa apparently published the details of Silvio Berlusconi, incoming prime minister and coincidentally one of the richest men in Italy.