Where's the EU when you need them?
Same story here, early GMail adopter, common name. Getting tax documents, car insurance docs, mobile contracts, bills for air condition equipment, etc etc etc for other blokes with my not so uncommon real-life name.
Apart from the mental state of these individuals what is driving me mad is exactly the sort of behaviour on the senders' side the article describes.
Take O2, a so-called tech company. Getting an email that I have opened an account with them and given them this email addy. Would I please acknowledge the email address is correct? Of course I don't and think that's it.
Nope, for from it. I now get a stream of detailed messages about my new mobile tariff, the mobile no and what have you. I have, more than once, contacted them... getting exactly nowhere. They don't care though they take security and all the rest VERY VERY seriously,
There should be a way (similar to other privacy EU initiatives) to force governments, companies, institutions, etc to really, REALLY VERIFY that all email addresses given are valid and connected to the intended recipient. This should be enforced by a nice and tidy little sum to be paid by said governments, companies, institutions etc as a penalty to the hapless victim if they don't get it right.