25,000 join Europe class action lawsuit against Facebook

August 6, 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 told to clarify privacy outside US, Canada

Related Stories

Facebook told to clarify privacy outside US, Canada

December 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.

Facebook failing on privacy promises: campaign group

April 3, 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

July 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.

Recommended for you

Interactive tool lifts veil on the cost of nuclear energy

August 24, 2015

Despite the ever-changing landscape of energy economics, subject to the influence of new technologies and geopolitics, a new tool promises to root discussions about the cost of nuclear energy in hard evidence rather than ...

Smart home heating and cooling

August 28, 2015

Smart temperature-control devices—such as thermostats that learn and adjust to pre-programmed temperatures—are poised to increase comfort and save energy in homes.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.