Overtourism and Overcontrol of Citizens

Monica Ambrosio
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The access ticket is nothing more than an attempt to get us used to the idea that to circulate in the city we must show an “authorization document”. Whether it is a QRcode or an identification document, it matters little. We are supposed to get used to the idea – now a reality – that to host a friend or relative, it is necessary to report it to the Municipality to obtain a QR code; that to work or study, it is necessary to inform the Municipality; that those who participate in events and demonstrations approved by the municipal council do not have to pay the entrance fee, while for the others, those not approved, people must pay. However, in either case they must communicate their participation to the municipality and this means making their religious orientation and political thoughts known. Medical visits are no longer confidential. To attend the funeral of a loved one, relatives outside the region have to worry about fileing a report with the Municipality, in defiance of humanity and compassion.

Mayor of Venice Luigi Brugnaro explains the “how” and “why” of the access ticket to tourists

Each “self-report” involves registration on the online portal with the obligation to accept the Municipality’s privacy policy, according to which our data is stored for five years and on non-EU servers where the GDPR does not apply; furthermore, this data can be transferred to third parties. But why? And who are these third parties?

These disturbing aspects have never been clarified by the municipal administration.

In addition to all this it must be mentioned that since 2019 more than seven hundred cameras have been installed (with on-board AI and video analysis algorithms prohibited by Italian law) managed by public control bodies and connected to the smart control room, a digital system that acquires our movements in the city by connecting to cell phones. But they also perform “sentiment analysis” i.e. the study of the emotional tone of our messages and profiling of those who register on the platform, which is to say basically everyone.

What is certain is that the access ticket system is based and organized on that of the Smart Control Room, and enhances the extraction of our data to train the deep learning algorithms of the digital platform called Urban Genius. This platform is managed by a well-known telephone company and is what the creation of the so-called “Smart City” is based upon: this mass of data will be analyzed, controlled, archived and sold to operators who will know everything about us and could use the data not only for commercial purposes but potentially also in a hostile manner.

The first day of the ticket at Santa Lucia station (©Andrea Merola)

This system will become even more pervasive thanks to the development of 5G, which will uncontrollably amplify the formation of electromagnetic fields with very high peaks, despite numerous studies and research demonstrating its serious effects on human health but also on the environment, including insects, animals and plants.

In reality, in recent years, misguided policies have been adopted in Venice which have exasperated the situation by relocating and reducing services for residents; allowing the conversion of too many properties for use by tourists, in particular by large companies that purchase and exploit entire buildings; and by allowing the transformation of local stores and artisan shops into commercial activities with aimed at tourists.

The numbers of this first week demonstrate that the ticket has not had the slightest effect in reducing the daily tourist flow. On the contrary, the number of tourists is greater than expected. The only thing that has not been missing is the immense amount of sensitive data that can now be managed, sold and exported, for purposes we are not aware of.

My hope is that all this will come to light, understood and stopped in its tracks so that Venice remains a city that is truly free and sustainable.

Translation by Paul Rosenberg

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Overtourism and Overcontrol of Citizens ultima modifica: 2024-05-07T19:19:28+02:00 da Monica Ambrosio
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