Nine European Union countries face court action for failing to implement anti-spam laws.
The offending member states now have two months to explain why they have not yet passed legislation banning companies from sending unsolicited commercial email and stealing personal data from web sites.
The EU passed a directive that went into effect at the end of October that obliged member countries to implement anti-spam legislation, leaving it to the individual states to determine exactly how to stop spam and punish those sending it.
Six countries, including the UK, Ireland, Spain and Italy, have implemented such legislation, but France, Germany, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden have failed to do so.
“It is urgent that member states adopt a consistent legislative approach to such issues,” says Erkki Liikanen, European commissioner for enterprise and the information society. “This will strengthen consumer confidence in e-commerce and electronic services.”
An ultimatum on the implementation of e-commerce rules is also to be issued to EU member states later in the month.