25,000 join Europe class action lawsuit against Facebook

Aug 06, 2014
A logo created from pictures of Facebook users worldwide is pictured in the company's Data Center on November 7, 2013 in Lulea, in Swedish Lapland

An Austrian waging a battle against Facebook's privacy policies said Wednesday that 25,000 users of the social networking giant have signed on to his class action lawsuit.

The suit, filed by lawyer Max Schrems, claims a symbolic 500 euros ($660) per plaintiff from Facebook for several out of a "long list" of alleged violations of the law, his advocacy group Europe-v-Facebook said.

These include its , Facebook's alleged participation in the US National Security Agency's PRISM snooping programme, and tracking users' visits to other websites with for example the "Like" function.

Media-savvy Schrems, who first took on Facebook several years ago as a student, filed the legal action in Vienna last week. He had to limit numbers signing on to it to 25,000 after some 7,000 signed up every day.

"With this number of participants we have a really excellent basis not just to complain about Facebook in Europe but actually to do something," Schrems said in a statement on his website www.europe-v-.org.

The suit is directed against Facebook's Ireland-based subsidiary, the US firm's headquarters for its overseas operations, and was not open to users from the United States and Canada. The subsidiary has to abide by EU data protection laws, which are more stringent than those in North America.

The majority of those who signed up were from Europe, with the biggest numbers from Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. Facebook had 829 million active users worldwide on average in June, according to its website.

Explore further: Facebook faces suit for data mining 'private' messages

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Facebook failing on privacy promises: campaign group

Apr 03, 2012

Facebook has failed to meet a deadline to improve its privacy policies that was set by the data commissioner in Ireland, home to it overseas headquarters, an Austrian advocacy group said on Tuesday.

Group says kept in the dark about Facebook case

Jul 30, 2012

An Austrian group fighting for clearer privacy policies on Facebook complained Monday that the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) was keeping it in the dark about proceedings.

Facebook told to clarify privacy outside US, Canada

Dec 21, 2011

Facebook has to make its privacy policy easier to understand and to act on, the data commissioner in Ireland, where the social networking website has its international headquarters, said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Facebook dressed down over 'real names' policy

21 hours ago

Facebook says it temporarily restored hundreds of deleted profiles of self-described drag queens and others, but declined to change a policy requiring account holders to use their real names rather than drag names such as ...

Yelp to pay US fine for child privacy violation

Sep 17, 2014

Online ratings operator Yelp agreed to pay $450,000 to settle US charges that it illegally collected data on children, in violation of privacy laws, officials said Wednesday.

User comments : 0