ATHENS – Greece’s highest administrative court, the Council of State, has exempted political candidates from laws that bar sending spam emails, allowing them to flood people’s inboxes with unsolicited ads unless blocking them.
The court accepted an argument from three politicians fined 3,000 euros ($3,149) for sending voters the spam mail which can clog their email services that the law doesn’t cover politicians.
The Data Protection Authority imposed the fines on Theodoros Fortsakis and Dimitris Kouvelas, both of whom were elected Members of Parliament, as well as unsuccessful candidate Ioanna Kalantzakou-Tsatsaroni, all of whom ran for New Democracy in the 2009 elections, the decision coming 13 years later.
The data protection watchdog said the sending of unsolicited election communications violated the law on personal data which in Greece is so strict that newspapers, media and news outlets don’t name criminal suspects or even those who are convicted in some cases.
The Council of State agreed, saying there was a legal loophole that excluded election candidates from personal data laws and it would now take special legislation to bar the candidates from sending spam, said Katherine and the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency (AMNA.)