The European Union is calling on nine member nations to explain how they will comply with new anti-spam legislation.

Belgium, Germany, Greece, France, Luxembourg, Sweden, Portugal, Finland and the Netherlands have been asked to reveal how they will put into practice the EU's Directive on Electronic Communication and Data Privacy, which came into effect October 31. They must do so within two months or risk court action.

The Directive bans the sending of commercial email without the recipient's consent and contains other restrictions on the use of consumers' online details. However, it is up to each member nation to decide how to implement and enforce the new rules.

Austria, Britain, Denmark, Italy, Spain and Ireland have all taken action. The UK's anti-spam regime comes into force this week [WAMN: 08-Dec-03].

"It is urgent that member states adopt a consistent legislative approach to such issues," declared Erkki Liikanen, European commissioner for enterprise and the information society. "This will strengthen consumer confidence in ecommerce and electronic services."

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff