“Europe vs. Facebook” Brings Class Action Suit Against Social Media Giant

Earlier this month, Austrian law student Max Schrems filed a class action lawsuit against Facebook for alleged privacy violations. Over 60,000 European Facebook users have joined the suit against the social network.

Clock is Ticking for Facebook

Schrems’ lawsuit alleges that Facebook violated users’ privacy and European data privacy laws by cooperating with the NSA’s PRISM program. The suit lists other, “basic or obvious violations of the law: the privacy policy, […] Facebook’s graph search, apps on Facebook, tracking on other web pages [via the ‘like’ button], ‘big data’ systems that spy on users,” as Schrems wrote on the Facebook Class Action website, www.fbclaim.com.

Facebook privacy

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Schrems’ Europe vs. Facebook group, has passed its first review in Vienna’s Regional Court. It is now pending at the European Court of Justice. Facebook Ireland, which oversees the social network’s operations outside of North America, was given four weeks to respond to the suit, a deadline that is rapidly approaching. If no counter-statement from Facebook Ireland is forthcoming, the court will issue judgment in its absence.

“Largest Privacy Class Action in Europe”

Europe vs. Facebook describes their suit as “the largest privacy class action in Europe.” The original suit was joined by 25,000 Facebook users, while an additional 35,000 plaintiffs have registered on the group’s website, indicating their wishes to join the suit should it move forward.

The suit hopes to see Facebook, they of the 1.32 billion active users and a worth of roughly half the money in the GD world, pay out nearly $664 per plaintiff. Schrems’ end goal is not monetary recompense, however. Ultimately, he hopes the lawsuit will force Facebook to change its policies to better ensure the protection of users’ personal data.

For more information on this matter, and/or to show support for the lawsuit yourself, visit Europe vs. Facebook’s site at http://www.fbclaim.com.

Photo credit: mjmonty / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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