A class action against Facebook has been filed in Vienna by privacy campaigner and Austrian law graduate Max Schrems, along with 25,000 other users of the social network site. The lawsuit alleges breaches of EU privacy law and mass surveillance.
The case was filed on 9 April this year against Facebook’s European HQ in Dublin, which handles accounts outside the U.S. and Canada, accounting for approximately 80% of Facebook’s 1.35 billion users. The alleged breach of European privacy laws relates to the way that Facebook monitors its users’ activation of its “Like” buttons.
Currently, the 25,000 users are claiming €500 (£392) each in damages for the “illegal” tracking of their data under EU law, amounting to over €10 million if the charges against Facebook are proved in this case. A further 55,000 users have registered to join the procedures at a later stage.
Facebook has raised procedural objections, asking for the case to be dismissed. The Vienna court will rule in several weeks or so whether it has jurisdiction to hear the class action in Austria.