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I sent an email to a website's contact and my mailserver received this error:

<...@...>: host ....mail.protection.outlook.com[104.47.70.110] said: 451 4.4.4 Mail received as unauthenticated, incoming to a recipient domain configured in a hosted tenant which has no mail-enabled subscriptions. ATTR5 [BN7NAM10FT047.eop-nam10.prod.protection.outlook.com 2023-07-09T02:31:08.020Z 08DB7EF866B08CFF] (in reply to end of DATA command)

So now Microsoft has logs of this email I sent, but they were never (or are no longer) charged by the owner of the domain name with the task of handling the incoming email. (The MX record for the domain points to a mail.protection.outlook.com subdomain, so this seems a mistake of the DNS admin. But something similar may happen in absence of a MX record if my mailserver defaults to the A record and the host accepts connections.)

Who's the data controller?

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  • Can you replace the error message with a plain english explanation of what happened, who has what data now?
    – nvoigt
    Jul 9, 2023 at 17:52
  • I thought I did with that "So now Microsoft has logs of this email I sent, but they were never (or are no longer) charged by the owner of the domain name with the task of handling the incoming email." My mailserver tried to deliver email for a certain user at that IP address, controlled by Microsoft. Microsoft told the mailserver that it knows no such user, or that the corresponding user has not paid for handling incoming email. Now logs of the email, including its contents, are almost certainly in Microsoft's system (but not the customer's). I got an error from my mailserver.
    – Nemo
    Jul 9, 2023 at 20:07
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    @nvoigt Here’s a pre-internet equivalent. An advertisement for company A has a misprint in A's address; a prospective customer sends a letter to the advertised address, which ends up in company B’s office. The letter is discarded but company B's post office keeps a logbook and writes "on day X, we received a letter from Mr. Y, addressed to company A, and discarded it".
    – KFK
    Jul 10, 2023 at 16:49

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