According to the Article 234 Civil Procedure Code, traditional messages stored into telephone memory and WhatsApp conversations are considered as documentary evidences under the scope of Italian Procedural Law. Therefore, WhatsApp conversation do not fall under the same regime of telephone and environmental interceptions or personal correspondence such as emails, letters, et cetera.

This principle has been confirmed through the sentence No. 1822 in relation to the use of such documents with evidentiary effects. In the present case, the appellant claimed that conversations – acquired in the context of a Police inspection – were not usable. In particular, the appellant claimed against the way conversations have been acquired. In particular, photos of the screen where conversations were displayed have been acquired.

In such context, the Italian Court confirmed that WhatsApp conversations, messages, emails that are stored or downloaded in phone memory constitute documentary evidence. Based on this, specific acquisition modes for personal correspondence or environmental interception do not apply to WhatsApp conversations.  

Such conversations are not considered correspondence because of the absence of the deliver activity through a third subject. Moreover, they cannot be considered telephonic or environmental interception because of the absence capturing information. Under this circumstance, messages and WhatsApp conversation have been regularly gathered and, thanks to their evidentiary effects, Courts may base their decisions on this evidence.