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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsGreece Probes Data Leak of Diaspora Voter Email Addresses

Greece Probes Data Leak of Diaspora Voter Email Addresses

Greeks abroad will vote for the European parliament through postal voting in June. Credit: Europarl/ CC-BY-SA 2.0

Greece’s Interior Ministry said it will conduct an internal inquiry on the suspected data leak of the Diaspora voter e-mail addresses by a Greek MEP.

It will seek to determine whether privacy laws were breached that let Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou send emails to Diaspora voters.

The European Parliament will have elections in June and they are seen as a barometer of party strength in countries as well, and she sent a barrage of emails to voters abroad minutes after they were informed how to vote by mail.

A member of the ruling New Democracy, she is a lawyer and graduate of the prestigious Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, run by the Quakers, and of the Ivy League Cornell Law School.

“We will not allow any shadows in this matter,” Interior Minister Niki Kerameus told state broadcaster ERT, adding that the probe if her agency was in any way involved in giving the candidate the email addresses of the voters.

MEP denies voter data leak

Asimakopoulou denied that she hadn’t sought their consent as required by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

​​“One hundred days before the European elections, my office sent a newsletter to Greeks abroad using contact information that I collected during the last five years as an MEP, to ask their permission to communicate with them regularly, as I always have done, concerning personal data and GDPR since 2018.”

“I have never received personal data from the Interior Ministry or any other government body on Greeks living abroad,” she added.

Kerameus said, “Our goal is to ascertain and confirm the adequacy of the security of personal data protection processes,” after rival parties demanded to know if there was a violation of privacy laws.

Kerameus added that the issue has “nothing to do with the postal vote. It concerns the adequacy of data security for the voter rolls of 2023,” the government making it easier for Greeks abroad to vote.

The Interior Ministry denied it had given Asimakopoulou after she had suggested in an interview that she got the information from the ministry’s electoral registers. Greece’s privacy watchdog is also conducting an investigation.

Greece introduces postal voting for the European Parliament elections

Greece launched the online platform for registration in the electoral roll for postal voting in February.

The initiative aims to streamline the process for Greek citizens to exercise their voting rights in the European Parliament elections and national referendums.

The mail-in system applies to all citizens registered in the electoral rolls who wish to participate in the elections, regardless of their location within or outside the country’s borders.

Greek residents living abroad can only participate in the upcoming European elections through postal voting.

The online platform can be accessed here.

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