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Italian Digital Identities

Italian Digital Identities

Old Mar 1st 2021, 4:34 pm
  #1  
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Default Italian Digital Identities

I havn't yet got my WA/biometric card but I have got a PEC (certified email apparently essential to get a reply from an Italian administration) a SPID cittadino and a digital signature (needed to sign certain Italian administrative forms). The SPID will soon be essential (at least to contact INPS) and the state currently gives you a rebate on everything you pay with a credit/debit card if you have a SPID (you must just register your card. BTW can someone confirm if this includes UK cards?). All these digital utilities cost time and money to set up and although they don't seem to be used much in other countries they are becoming essential in Italy. I don't know how the technophobic manage. Any opinions on these "innovations"?
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Old Mar 1st 2021, 5:59 pm
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Default Re: Italian Digital Identities

The Spid is difficult for people not comfortable with computers. I was showing someone today how to make a hospital appointment on the Umbria CUP. The connect failed because the Id card used to set up the Spid had expired.
A system that avoids people queuing in the street is a good idea but it is too complicated for many.
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Old Mar 1st 2021, 8:35 pm
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Default Re: Italian Digital Identities

Originally Posted by nicktonight View Post
I havn't yet got my WA/biometric card but I have got a PEC (certified email apparently essential to get a reply from an Italian administration) a SPID cittadino and a digital signature (needed to sign certain Italian administrative forms). The SPID will soon be essential (at least to contact INPS) and the state currently gives you a rebate on everything you pay with a credit/debit card if you have a SPID (you must just register your card. BTW can someone confirm if this includes UK cards?). All these digital utilities cost time and money to set up and although they don't seem to be used much in other countries they are becoming essential in Italy. I don't know how the technophobic manage. Any opinions on these "innovations"?
Agreed with what philat said above - for technophobes it can all be a bit daunting, especially (in my experience) setting up your SPID. But it is, slowly, getting easier. And fingerprint recognition on phones goes a long way to overcoming problems (but only once you have got the system set up in the first place).

Just a bit of clarification:

The state does indeed give you a rebate (10%) on what you spend physically using a debit/credit card. In other words, where you are present for the transaction - and therefore excluding any type of online purchase. The rebate is limited to €15 per transaction (so even if you bought a television for €1000 you would still only get €15 back). You must perform a minimum of 50 transactions in each half year (calendar) or you get nothing back. The maximum total rebate is €150 per person each half-year. Some (but not many) acquirers do not provide information to the AdE so you won't get money back on those transactions through them. And finally, I very much doubt that it would include non-Italian cards (but concede willingly to anyone who knows better from experience).

It is fair to say that in many ways Italy is much more technologically advanced than almost any other country in the world. And also in some ways definitely not.
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Old Mar 1st 2021, 8:45 pm
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Default Re: Italian Digital Identities

I managed to register my UK credit card on the Io cashback site and it seems to be working by recording my in-store purchases. You also have to register a bank account to receive the cashback when it’s due.
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Old Mar 4th 2021, 8:24 am
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Default Re: Italian Digital Identities

Originally Posted by Ruby2 View Post
I managed to register my UK credit card on the Io cashback site and it seems to be working by recording my in-store purchases. You also have to register a bank account to receive the cashback when it’s due.
I discovered today that I could register my payment card for the Cash-back scheme on the Unicredit app. Quick and painless.
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Old Mar 5th 2021, 8:31 am
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Default Re: Italian Digital Identities

In my opinion (and I know it's not fact) I think there are some deep-rooted cultural issues which underpin the differing approaches to how easy it is to use the internet in Italy vs the UK.

The UK approach has been how to make things as easy as possible, which means removing as many barriers as possible. The Italian way is to keep adding another layer which is supposed to make things more secure.

I'm not sure which is right. The UK way leaves a lot of room for fraud. But the Italian way discourages use of the internet.

And I am aware I'm generalising so there will be exceptions
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Old Mar 5th 2021, 8:51 am
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Default Re: Italian Digital Identities

Originally Posted by C.2s View Post
In my opinion (and I know it's not fact) I think there are some deep-rooted cultural issues which underpin the differing approaches to how easy it is to use the internet in Italy vs the UK.

The UK approach has been how to make things as easy as possible, which means removing as many barriers as possible. The Italian way is to keep adding another layer which is supposed to make things more secure.

I'm not sure which is right. The UK way leaves a lot of room for fraud. But the Italian way discourages use of the internet.

And I am aware I'm generalising so there will be exceptions
I think you are right. Not only are things complicated but often done badly. Particularly where the Poste get involved the software is terrible.
If the security people at N26 had done the SPID it would be much simpler than the Poste offering. The N26 user validation is all done from home and only takes a couple of days to set up. Poste spid requires a visit to the post office.
The Poste limit the number of SMS messages after which you have to use the APP on a smartphone.
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Old Mar 5th 2021, 9:28 am
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Default Re: Italian Digital Identities

It's definitely true that the last year has given Italy a kick up the backside to improve online access to public services, which is a good thing. But in my opinion, I think the UK has gone too far. It's virtually impossible to visit an office to deal with someone face-to-face from authorities like HMRC or DVLA (even in normal times) and then there's the fact that EU citizens in the UK are not being given a physical proof of residency, it's an online-only check, which I would personally be a bit worried about.

I found with my Italian bank that dealing face-to-face with people was so much easier than call centres and the personal touch really helped with sorting out problems. My IT bank had good online access/services too, which made for a good balance between the two approaches.

I never bothered with a SPID but it does sound a bit fiddly.
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Old Mar 5th 2021, 9:31 am
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Default Re: Italian Digital Identities

The UK Gov here have some very serious changes afoot. Being back here in the UK for over 2 years now I've reflected often on what I miss and don't miss (probably mozzies, followed by earthquake threat !) and IT is one of the positives here. Comparing like for like we live rural here as we did in Italy and no doubt Italy has moved on now, but we pay under £30/month for internet and landline here and get over 30Mbps download speed and over 6 upload. I get 6-7 over mobile. The latter is inconsistent still, but the former is almost constant, which means media over the internet is streamed as good as the TV. Most things are of this nature and simpler here, even the postie will pick your parcels up from you door for a small fee... We have not been in a shop for over a year now! However we will still be looking to be back there a.s.a.p.
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Old Mar 5th 2021, 10:18 am
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Default Re: Italian Digital Identities

I pay 30 euros a month for internet (satellite) and get the same speeds as you in rural Sicily. The postie will also now pick up parcels from me and take letters. I can send recorded delivery from my pc at home, but we still have mozzies and lots of sun!
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Old Mar 5th 2021, 12:42 pm
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Default Re: Italian Digital Identities

Ah yes Modi, but we get the landline included in that £30 and we don't really need recorded delivery here as we seemed to in Italy. We've just moved over from TalkTalk to Sky this week, all done in a couple of minutes online, no bits of paper, no recorded delivery needed (if we did we can do so online these days). Now that sunshine might be of some use, although we don't miss the intense heat of the summer that could last for weeks on end, we do miss very, very much growing our peppers, aubergine and other heat liking veg. Ah and the fruit trees!
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Old Mar 5th 2021, 8:58 pm
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Default Re: Italian Digital Identities

The new digital residence card (Carta Elettronico di Soggiorno) for Brits resident in the EU prior to 2021 is just that; a digital card recognised and issued by all EU countries in the same format (not just the Questure in Italy). It is not an I.D. card but is a proof of the right to residency in an EU country for those Brits that are eligible having been resident in Italy prior to 31 Dec 2020.

On the broader issue of Italian adoption (or not) of internet capabilities, it seems to me that where it is being rolled out it is often as an additional layer to existing bureaucracy. It frequently does not simplify life but often complicates it. Rather than looking at an issue or problem ab initio it bolts on a sort of techy “solution” which may do little to help the situation. As an example I do wonder what the point of PEC emails is. One reason is that it can be seen as a replacement for a raccomandata / registered letter which is so prevalent here. But why persist with this widespread need of raccomandate in the first place? Does any other developed country? It is a part of the Italian fixation for a paper trail, certificati, documenti, carta, carta, carta which you need to arm yourself with when you approach any government office or industry body. And having to go in person to an office is another element of the bureaucracy that’s endemic here; it helps perpetuate the massive state payroll with little benefit for the wider population who have to subsidise the state employees via taxation and have to take time off in wasting hours in state offices for the most mundane matters. I’ve never been to an HMRC or DVLA office and have no wish to do so. I can do that all online and maybe via an app that doesn’t need me to jump through SPID authorisation hoops.

I know there is some kind of digital czar in Italy, I just hope he/she is strong enough and has the support to radically look at and change Italy’s dreadfully sclerotic processes; though “processes” suggests things that are functional which is often not the case. Draghi, if he lasts beyond the next elections, could help. But I see the resigned shrug of Italians’ shoulders whenever they talk of their governments’ inabilities to make radically beneficial changes within a decade. Thank heavens that, individually, they are such great people.
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Old Apr 21st 2021, 3:30 pm
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Default Re: Italian Digital Identities

As the discussion seems to be widening out I'll have my say!
There's a point where Italy seems more bureaucratic than the UK at first sight, but is actually less so. I'm talking about elections and residence. At the 2019 Euro-elections, EU citizens in the UK had to go through an obstacle course, as did UK citizens resident in EU countries who wanted to vote in the British EU elections. There was difficulty in receiving forms for a postal vote and sending them back in time, while EU citizens in the UK had to sign a declaration that they wouldn't also vote in their own countries. If they hadn't got this sorted out they were turned away from the polling stations. It raised quite a scandal but seems to have been hushed up soon afterwards. Obviously EU citizens whould have voted overwhelmingly for anti-Brexit parties.
I decided to save my energy and voted here for an Italian party. No one asked me if I was secretly voting twice - a pointless question, because if I was dishonest enough to vote twice I'd also be dishonest enough to lie about it! But my main point is about residence. People in Britain are against having an official address of residence because they see it as something akin to a police state! But the alternative is in having to get onto the electoral register. If people move house, then until they get onto the electoral roll they are likely to be disenfranchised and no one knows how to contact them for any reason. In Italy you're automatically registered to vote where you're resident. Why are the Brits so hostile to this?
Also in the USA a lot of people can't vote because they're not automatically registered and apparently have to register each time (I'm not absolutely sure about this).
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Old Apr 21st 2021, 9:24 pm
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Default Re: Italian Digital Identities

Originally Posted by jonwel View Post
Why are the Brits so hostile to this?
It's a good question. I have been really interested in the relationship between culture and technology for years, and have therefore read/studied lots of things on the topic. And not just modern technology but things like canals in England, medicine in Early Modern Europe, writing in Asia, aqueducts in Ancient Rome, etc etc and also lots of examples of technologies that were never adopted...and it's not always logical. The technology doesn't always determine what is adopted and what is rejected.

I'd argue that some things are constant whatever the situation:
1) people are people.
2) things become habits
3) things that are habits become seen as normal and aren't questioned
4) people don't like change and will question anything new

​​​​​There is quite a bit online about why British people should register residency and get ID cards etc...but quite a lot of that is either:
1) written by people like Thales who have a vested interest (they provide the technology)
or
2) people who make comparisons with the situation in other countries, and might as well be arguing that Italians stop having a siesta or Americans should stop watching American Football

There's not a lot written about why it's not a habit for Brits to register residency or have ID cards.I guess one might go back as far as Magna Carta (800 years) and say it's become seen as a basic human right.

Once you do start to question the whole idea you can make quite a good argument that it's an expensive, time consuming waste of time. The evidence from Italy would perhaps suggest that all the record keeping hasn't done much to counter the corruption. So maybe the question should really be 'Why aren't other nations more hostile to this? '

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Old Apr 22nd 2021, 5:51 am
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Default Re: Italian Digital Identities

Today's Financial Times has an interesting piece on this very Italian problem.
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