How it works

IT-alert is a public service that sends messages to the devices in the area affected by a major emergency or an imminent or ongoing catastrophic event and helps provide timely information to potentially affected people, reducing individual and collective exposure to danger. 

IT-alert messages run through cell broadcasts. Any active mobile device connected to the cells of mobile phone operators' networks can receive an "IT-alert" message provided it is turned on. Thanks to cell-broadcast technology, the IT-alert messages can be delivered within a group of geographically close phone cells, bounding an area that corresponds to that affected by the emergency as closely as possible. 

The cell broadcast also works in cases of limited coverage or in instances of telephone band saturation. 

Devices do not receive IT-alert messages if switched off, or there is no signal and may not ring if the phone is on mute. The IT-alert service complies with the international 'Common Alerting Protocol' (CAP) standards to provide complete interoperability with other national and international public warning systems.

Users in the affected area will receive a text message with an identifiable sound to indicate the sender (IT-alert), which differs from classic ring tones. It will be seen that the sender is IT-alert.

IT-alert message notification on devices depends on the mobile phone or smartphone model, operating system, and installed version. 

No action is required to receive IT-alert messages, including test messages. In case the IT-alert item - present in the devices under the emergency alerts section - should be disabled, the messages will arrive on the devices during the tests and when the system is running, as the highest priority for sending will be used. 

Although it is not necessary to download any App to receive the IT-alert messages, circumstances may require preliminary verification of the device configuration, such as a backup or the use of an old version of the operating system. IT-alert is a public system that informs the population involved and promotes the adoption of the behaviors necessary to minimize individual and collective exposure to danger. 


No personal data of the message recipient is processed (collected, stored, consulted, etc.). IT-alert messages run via the cell-broadcast system. This technology allows phone operators to send messages to anyone - without distinction and impersonally - located in the proximity of the affected area covered by specific transmission cells of the cell network in a defined territory. 
The system is unidirectional (from the telephone operator to the device) and does not allow any kind of return data or feedback from the reached mobile phones. This means that no personal data of the person receiving the message is processed in any way by the Civil Protection Department and the phone operator of choice. The Italian Data Protection Authority has expressed a positive opinion about the IT-alert system. The provision is available at the following link.

The IT-alert public warning system experiences limitations related to uncertainty in natural phenomena, scientific uncertainty, available technological capabilities, and the circumstances in which assessment and decision-making activities occur, often in urgent and emergency contexts requiring immediate decisions. Also, it is necessary to consider that limitations related to the latency, uncertainty, and/or unavailability of data, measurements, and information of possible malfunction and/or dysfunction of equipment and networks and the margin of error stemming from the essential discretion of assessment and decision-making activities may exist. 

One of the limitations of the cell-broadcast technology used to send IT-alert messages is the impossibility of perfectly overlapping the area estimated to be potentially affected by the emergency with the area covered by the antennas of the telephone operators being used to send the messages. This means there will be devices in areas outside the region occasionally involved in the experimental phase that may receive an IT-alert message and devices in affected areas that may not.