Watchdog fines Greek Interior Ministry, MEP over diaspora email data breach

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Greece’s Personal Data Protection Authority (PDPA) on Monday imposed a 400,000-euro fine on the Ministry of Interior and a 40,000-euro fine on New Democracy MEP Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou for their respective roles in violating data protection regulations.

According to Ekathimerini, the fines came after Greeks living abroad accused Asimakopoulou in March this year of sending unsolicited emails ahead of the European Parliament elections in June, in what was dubbed “email-gate.” At the time, Asimakopoulou disputed claims of breaching data protection laws.

PDPA said a file of about 25,000 voters registered for the June 2023 elections was leaked between 8 and 23 June 2023. The list, which included voter emails, was sent to New Democracy’s then Secretary for Diaspora Affairs, Nikos Theodoropoulos, by an unknown individual. Theodoropoulos forwarded the file to Asimakopoulou on January 20, 2024, who used it to send mass campaign emails. 

Greeks of diaspora will be able to vote on May 20. Photo: osce

The authority said it has postponed its verdict on Theodoropoulos and New Democracy to examine new claims submitted by the former on who gave him the list.

Following the revelation of “email gate” in March, the general secretary of the Interior Ministry, Michalis Stavrianoudakis, resigned, Theodoropoulos was dismissed by New Democracy and Asimakopoulou announced that she would not be running in the European Parliament elections.

The Conservative MEP is facing 75 lawsuits by citizens and the Interior Ministry more than 200 lawsuits since the “email gate” scandal broke.

The Ministry of Interior said that it will “thoroughly study” the PDPA’s decision to consider further legal actions. 

Source: Ekathimerini

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