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, with the aim of 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 telephone 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 cases 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.
Although it is not necessary to download any App to receive the IT-alert messages, there may be circumstances that require preliminary verification of the device configuration such as a back up 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.
IT-alert message notification on devices depends on the mobile phone or smartphone model, operating system and installed version.
To receive IT-alert messages, including test messages, no action is required. 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 also when the system is running, as the highest level of priority for sending will be used.
No personal data of the message recipient is processed in any way (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 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.
In relation to the IT-alert system, the Italian Data Protection Authority has expressed a positive opinion about the system. The provision is available at the following link: https://www.garanteprivacy.it/home/docweb/-/docweb-display/docweb/9207188