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Italy to stop sending speed camera photos over privacy

Saim Dušan Inayatullah
March 9, 2024

Italy's Transport Ministry has announced that drivers caught speeding will only be sent fine notices to their homes. There had been reports of speed camera photos breaking up relationships and marriages.

Speed camera in Tuscany, Italy
Italy's Transport Ministry says it will stop sending photos from speed cameras to people's homesImage: Rust/nordphoto/picture alliance

Italy plans to stop sending out speed camera photos out of privacy concerns, the Italian Transport Ministry said on Saturday.

The ministry said drivers caught speeding would only be sent fine notices to their homes.

Authorities will only use images taken by speed cameras if a driver lodges a formal objection to a fine.

The Corriere della Sera newspaper reported that the decree has been approved by Italy's data protection authorities.

The newspaper said there had been various reports of people's relationships, marriages or business deals failing after speed camera photos revealed that someone not expected to be traveling with them was in their car.

Transport minister denounces speed camera 'anarchy'

Deputy Prime Minister and Transport Minister Matteo Salvini has on multiple occasions criticized the use of speed cameras in prosecuting traffic violations, arguing that they were being employed by councils to generate revenue.

"We must save lives with prevention and controls, but also save citizens' wallets by freeing them from the anarchy of speed cameras," Transport Minister Matteo Salvini was cited by Corriere della Sera as saying.

He said speed cameras should remain in high-risk areas, including near schools and hospitals, "but not on double-lane roads [...] in order to tax and harass drivers."

According to a draft of the decree cited by Corriere della Sera, speed cameras must be placed to guarantee security and the circulation of traffic and not to raise money for municipal councils.

Italy has around 11,000 speed cameras — more than any other EU member state.

This report was written in part with material from the German Press Agency (DPA).