Ac­tivists file Face­book class ac­tion suit in Aus­tria

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

An Aus­trian law grad­u­ate spear­head­ing a class ac­tion case against Face­book for al­leged pri­vacy breaches of­fi­cially filed the suit in a Vi­enna court on Thurs­day.

In a closely watched case, Max Schrems and 25,000 other users are su­ing the so­cial me­dia gi­ant for var­i­ous rights vi­o­la­tions, rang­ing from the “il­le­gal” track­ing of their data un­der EU law to Face­book’s in­volve­ment in the PRISM sur­veil­lance pro­gram of the U.S. Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency (NSA).

“Ba­si­cally we are ask­ing Face­book to stop mass sur­veil­lance, to (have) a proper pri­vacy pol­icy that peo­ple can un­der­stand, but also to stop col­lect­ing data of peo­ple that are not even Face­book users,” 27-year-old Schrems told AFP in an in­ter­view this week.

The case has been brought against Face­book’s Euro­pean head­quar­ters in Dublin, which reg­is­ters all ac­counts out­side the United States and Canada — mak­ing up some 80 per­cent of Face­book’s 1.35 bil­lion users.

Schrems was able to file his ac­tion against the Ir­ish sub­sidiary at a civil court in Vi­enna be­cause un­der EU law, all mem­ber states have to en­force court rul­ings from any other mem­ber state.

Among other is­sues, judges will have to rule on Face­book’s ob­jec­tion that the class ac­tion is in­ad­mis­si­ble un­der Aus­trian law — an ob­jec­tion dis­missed by Schrems’ lawyer as lack­ing “any sub­stance.”

So far, the so­cial me­dia com­pany has not been avail­able for com­ment on the mat­ter.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.