Privacy complaint targets Google over unsolicited ad emails

By Mathieu Rosemain

PARIS, Aug 24 (Reuters) – Google has breached a European Union court ruling by sending unsolicited advertising emails directly to the inbox of Gmail users, Austrian advocacy group noyb.eu 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, noyb.eu 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, noyb.eu said in its complaint.Also, they do not include a date, diseases the advocacy group added.

Google and French data protection authority CNIL did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment.

Vienna-based noyb.eu (None Of Your Business) is an advocacy group founded by Austrian lawyer and privacy activist Max Schrems who won a high profile case with Europe’s top court in 2020.

The CNIL, known for being one of the most vocal data privacy regulators in Europe, imposed a record fine of 150 million euros ($149 million) on Google earlier this year for making it difficult for internet users to refuse online trackers.($1 = 1.0051 euros) (Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)