Court rules election candidates may spam voters

Court rules election candidates may spam voters

Election candidates may send unsolicited emails and texts to voters, the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, has ruled, overturning a €3,000 fine imposed on three politicians for electoral spam.

The Data Protection Authority imposed the fines on Theodoros Fortsakis and Dimitris Kouvelas, both of whom were elected MPs, as well as unsuccessful candidate Ioanna Kalantzakou-Tsatsaroni, all of whom ran for New Democracy in the 2009 elections.

The data protection watchdog said the sending of unsolicited election communications contravened article 11 of Law 3471/2006 on personal data.

However, the three election candidates appealed the decision, arguing that political communications are excluded from the legislation.

The Council of State agreed, saying there was a legal loophole that excluded election candidates from personal data laws.

If election spam is to be prohibited, then special legislation would be required, the court said. [AMNA, Ekathimerini]

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