Privacy during the age of Industry 4.0

The transformation of industrial sectors, which occurs especially by means of the integration of automation and IT systems, demands innovation in connectivity infrastructures, in smart devices connected via IP ad in the different software applications which can process and create value out of data. Above all, IoT allows to link all smart devices which can collect data, make decisions and keep users informed as to potential problems. On the other hand, if the data which companies produce and use are on the increase, to the extent that we now refer to Big Data, they must be protected with new security and cybersecurity solutions. At the same time, technological evolution is affecting privacy to a great extent, because in an “open” environment such as Industry 4.0, it is necessary to ensure the protection of personal data. In this respect, the transition from the old Privacy Code to the new European Regulation on the processing of personal data (GDPR) is about to occur. As we explain in the detailed article published on page 12, the new Regulation, which has been enforced on May 25th, 2016, will be fully applied as from May 25th, 2018, and entrepreneurs will have to deal with concepts which need to be understood carefully, such as privacy by design and privacy by default. Those managing sensitive data will therefore have to guarantee the utmost transparency and security of protection during the entire life cycle of the datum. Privacy will need to become a default setting and it will be necessary to prevent, not to correct.
A high number of Italian companies seems not to be ready yet to comply with the new EU regulations, in spite of the severe sanctions foreseen. A helping hand may come from the Industry 4.0 Plan, which envisages the possibility of investments even to start up the process of complying with the GDPR. Privacy, hitherto a cost, may turn into a valuable resource.