Austrian law student sues Facebook…again



Twenty-six year old law student Max Schrems has filed yet another lawsuit against Facebook, this time it’s about Facebook helping the NSA spy on users.

Schrems filed the class-action lawsuit in an Austrian commercial court, alleging a series of privacy violations, including aiding the NSA in the PRISM surveillance program revealed by Edward Snowden, and requesting 500 euros (around $670) of damages per user.

"We want to show to the U.S. industry that they have to respect [European] fundamental rights if they want to do business in Europe," Schrems said in an interview. "We love the technology, but we want to be able to use things without permanent worry for our privacy. Right now you have two options: live like in the stone age, or take action. We decided for the second."

Schrems also claims Facebook is in violation of European data privacy laws for its "data use policy," for tracking users on third websites via Like buttons, and for monitoring users through "big data systems," among others.

Last year Schrems filed a different lawsuit with the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) for similar PRISM-related isssues. The student also requested that Facebook disclose all the information they had on him: he received a stack of 1,222 pages. In 2012, he also forced Facebook to abandon its photo-tagging suggestion feature in Europe, after he complained that the facial recognition software used for the feature violated people's privacy.

This latest class-action lawsuit is open to anyone outside the U.S. or Canada and so far at least 100 people have signed on (using their Facebook accounts, of course).

It’s hard to tell whether Schrems is just piling on one lawsuit after another against Facebook in an effort to get money through out of court settlements, whether he is just testing out his newly learned legal chops or whether he is truly trying to take Facebook and the NSA to task for spying on their customers.



Guy Wright

Guy Wright has been covering the technology space since the days when computers had cranks and networks were steam powered. He has been a writer and editor for more years then he cares to admit.


More

Indian Government says No Health Hazards from Mobile Towers

According to Ravi Shankar Prasad, there is no real evidence about any threat to human health from mobile towers.

7 Savvy Ways to Save Money when Shopping Online

Online shopping is really popular now since it is convenient and quick. However, it can be pricey, much more expensive than what you initially thought.

Tesla Plans to Produce 500,000 Cars by 2018

Tesla Plans to produce 500,000 all-electric vehicles two years ahead of schedule.