The Stack Archive News Article

Italy begins beta-testing government smartphone app

Wed 29 Aug 2018

The Italian government has begun beta-testing IO, a smartphone app that consolidates a number of public services into a single user interface.

IO gives users access to public services and administration, providing an easier way to make electronic payments and keep a record of receipts, request and file documents with government agencies, and set up alerts, messaging, and reminders.

Using IO, an Italian citizen can file and pay taxes, manage medical coverage or vehicle registration, school enrollments, and more, all through a single smartphone application.

While IO is not yet available to the general public, it has been released to a limited group for ‘closed beta’ testing.

The IO application takes several platforms that are currently in use by different agencies, filters them through the IO back-end app, and presents them to the user as a single interface.

It then integrates information from the SPID public digital identity system, PagoPA payments platform, ANPR resident registry, and several thousand municipal and federal agencies into a single point of access.

Each citizen can access all public services with a single login, make payments through an approved platform, and store records of all documents and transactions.

Further, users can set up messages, reminders and alerts from any government agency to be sent to their smartphone: from text messages for traffic alerts and road closures, to reminders that download directly to the user’s personal calendar.

At the initial announcement of the project, Diego Piacentini, Special Commissioner for the Implementation of the Digital Agenda, pointed out the benefits of integrating public services into a single smartphone interface.

“The app will make it possible to drastically reduce the time it takes to comply with public administration requirements,” he said. “With this notification, payments and deadlines, operations that previously required a great deal of time, can now be completed in just a few minutes.”

The government also addressed privacy concerns, stating that the app is in compliance with GDPR directives, and the principle of ‘privacy by design.’

The IO website notes that IO is a data processer only, and that all records are encrypted and stored in various data centers across Europe.

A citizen can unsubscribe from the service and remove all records of their transactions upon request.

A team spokesperson told ZDNet that the cities of Milan and Bergamo, and the departments of Inland Revenue and Revenue Collection among others are currently involved in IO beta testing activities.


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