Privacy Complaint Targets Google Over Unsolicited Ad Emails

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: Google has breached a European Union court ruling by sending unsolicited advertising emails directly to the inbox of Gmail users, Austrian advocacy group said on Wednesday in a complaint filed with France’s data protection watchdog. The Alphabet unit, whose revenues mainly come from online advertising, should ask Gmail users for their prior consent before sending them any direct marketing emails, said, citing a 2021 decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJUE).

While Google’s ad emails may look like normal ones, they include the word “Ad” in green letters on the left-hand side, below the subject of the email, said in its complaint. Also, they do not include a date, the advocacy group added. “It’s as if the postman was paid to remove the ads from your mailbox and put his own instead,” said Romain Robert, program director at, with reference to Gmail’s anti-spam filters that put most unsolicited emails in a separate folder. While any CNIL decision would be only applicable in France, it could compel Google to review its practices in the region.

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