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-   -   Is email-guessing legal in Switzerland? (https://www.englishforum.ch/other-general/301295-email-guessing-legal-switzerland.html)

giuspiaco 18.11.2020 20:17

Is email-guessing legal in Switzerland?
 
Hello lovely people!
I received an unsolicited e-mail (Not marketing) in a business e-mail address which is not available online anywhere and I never provided to the sender. I think that, knowing my name, the sender just guessed the syntax of the e-mail addresses of my company and reached me.

I was wondering, is this action legal in Switzerland? (Which should adhere to the GDPR regulation)

Thank you! :)

Kittster 18.11.2020 20:20

Re: Is email-guessing legal in Switzerland?
 
It's certainly a shady move that I would slap down outright, regardless of the law.

giuspiaco 18.11.2020 20:28

Re: Is email-guessing legal in Switzerland?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kittster (Post 3240371)
It's certainly a shady move that I would slap down outright, regardless of the law.

I will report anyway :p Just curious about the laws of the Country ! :msngrin:

Landers 18.11.2020 20:29

Re: Is email-guessing legal in Switzerland?
 
Call the police. :o

giuspiaco 18.11.2020 20:30

Re: Is email-guessing legal in Switzerland?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Landers (Post 3240376)
Call the police. :o

This sounds too heavy to me :D

Landers 18.11.2020 20:37

Re: Is email-guessing legal in Switzerland?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by giuspiaco (Post 3240377)
This sounds too heavy to me :D


Then what? It's more your business's fault than anything else.

newtoswitz 18.11.2020 20:38

Re: Is email-guessing legal in Switzerland?
 
Using an email address is not illegal under GDPR even without consent, as there are a few other allowed criteria.

There's a good article on the subject here:

https://www.cognitivelaw.co.uk/gdpr-...personal-data/

giuspiaco 18.11.2020 20:48

Re: Is email-guessing legal in Switzerland?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by newtoswitz (Post 3240383)
Using an email address is not illegal under GDPR even without consent, as there are a few other allowed criteria.

There's a good article on the subject here:

https://www.cognitivelaw.co.uk/gdpr-...personal-data/

Interesting article, thanks for sharing. Still, it deals with business-to-business marketing while in my case the e-mail was personal and directed to me as an individual. Also, my doubt is not really linked to the consent, but to the fact that the email address has been guessed by retrieving the sintax of my company.

newtoswitz 18.11.2020 20:55

Re: Is email-guessing legal in Switzerland?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by giuspiaco (Post 3240388)
Interesting article, thanks for sharing. Still, it deals with business-to-business marketing while in my case the e-mail was personal and directed to me as an individual. Also, my doubt is not really linked to the consent, but to the fact that the email address has been guessed by retrieving the sintax of my company.

I'm not sure what area of law could make guessing an email address illegal.

If they guessed the email in order to send you a personal message, surely the content of that message or the intent behind it is the point in question. Guessing your email isn't really any different to phoning the company and asking for you by name.

giuspiaco 18.11.2020 20:57

Re: Is email-guessing legal in Switzerland?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by newtoswitz (Post 3240392)
I'm not sure what area of law could make guessing an email address illegal.

If they guessed the email in order to send you a personal message, surely the content of that message or the intent behind it is the point in question. Guessing your email isn't really any different to phoning the company and asking for you by name.

Yes I agree, sounds like a form of “social engineering” that should be allowed by the regulation. Thank you for sharing your point!

Massa 18.11.2020 21:26

Re: Is email-guessing legal in Switzerland?
 
Nothing illegal - there has been a proliferation of email discovery tools over the last couple of years.

https://hunter.io is one of the more popular but there are at least 5 more.

bowlie 19.11.2020 08:19

Re: Is email-guessing legal in Switzerland?
 
I’ve guessed at email addresses a few times myself. For my legitimate reasons. Not once did they ask how I got their address.

nickatbasel 19.11.2020 08:30

Re: Is email-guessing legal in Switzerland?
 
In the mid 1990s the joke was Bill Clinton’s email was president@whitehouse.gov while Hilary’s was root@whitehouse.gov

aSwissInTheUS 19.11.2020 11:24

Re: Is email-guessing legal in Switzerland?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by giuspiaco (Post 3240370)
I was wondering, is this action legal in Switzerland?

As far as I know there is no regulation which would make it illegal. Accordingly it is legal. See also Art. 1 Swiss Criminal Code.

Landers 19.11.2020 14:12

Re: Is email-guessing legal in Switzerland?
 
Is it karen@iwanttoseeyourmanager.com?

Ace1 19.11.2020 18:51

Re: Is email-guessing legal in Switzerland?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by giuspiaco (Post 3240370)

I was wondering, is this action legal in Switzerland? (Which should adhere to the GDPR regulation)

1. Of course it's legal. Why would you possibly think it might not be?
2. GDPR would have absolutely no bearing on this. Only if they are storing some data about you could it be in any way relevant.
3. Switzerland is not bound by GDPR, which is an EU regulation, anyway.

doropfiz 19.11.2020 20:19

Re: Is email-guessing legal in Switzerland?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by newtoswitz (Post 3240392)
Guessing your email isn't really any different to phoning the company and asking for you by name.

Exactly.

Often, but not always, larger companies or organisations simply follow firstname.surname@organisationorcompanyname.ch. It's not rocket science. Some even use their website to invite one to mail employees on an address of this, or another given, format.

In my experience quite a lot of mail is initiated - and very conveniently so - in just this way: by guessing from a range of standard formats, or by following the known format of other employees of the company or institution. Seems perfectly reasonable to me.

RufusB 19.11.2020 20:41

Re: Is email-guessing legal in Switzerland?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ace1 (Post 3240699)
3. Switzerland is not bound by GDPR, which is an EU regulation, anyway.

Depends where the email originated and which countries the company has dealings with AFAIK.

giuspiaco 20.11.2020 12:29

Re: Is email-guessing legal in Switzerland?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Landers (Post 3240577)

Ahahah is way worse than a Karen :D

catandmouse 20.11.2020 18:03

Re: Is email-guessing legal in Switzerland?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by RufusB (Post 3240755)
Depends where the email originated and which countries the company has dealings with AFAIK.

Switzerland's data protection law is largely derived from the European GDPR, not surprisingly in view of the volume of exchanges which take place with the EU. That said, I don't see what GDPR or Swiss data protection laws would have to say on this. I'm sure this happens hundreds of times each day, both in Switzerland and the rest of the world. What's wrong with guessing e-mail addresses? Mind you trying to reach John.Smith@bigmultinational.com might have the mail routing system scratch its head a little.


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