Vienna Court Rejects Europe vs. Facebook Class Action

The class-action suit filed against Facebook in Vienna by Austrian law student Max Schrems and his Europe Versus Facebook group has hit a roadblock.

The class-action suit filed against Facebook in Vienna by Austrian law student Max Schrems and his Europe Versus Facebook group has hit a roadblock.

The Wall Street Journal reported that a court in Vienna rejected the lawsuit on the grounds that it had no jurisdiction over the case.

According to the Journal, the court ruled that Schrems could not sue Facebook because he has used the social network for professional reasons, and that the class action is invalid in Austria.

Schrems said he will appeal to a higher regional court, and his lawyer, Wolfram Proksch, told the Journal:

This finding by the court is really very strange—unfortunately, it seems like the court wanted to forward this hot potato to the higher courts.

A Facebook spokeswoman told the Journal that the company, which has its European headquarters in Dublin, would continue to work with regulator the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, adding:

This litigation was unnecessary and we’re pleased that the court has roundly rejected these claims.

Schrems and Europe Versus Facebook filed the class-action suit last August, covering topics including:

  • The social network’s alleged participation in the U.S. National Security Agency’s Prism initiative.
  • Its privacy policy.
  • Its tracking of visitors to websites with like buttons.
  • The “absence of effective consent to many types of data use.”
  • Its noncompliance with data-access requests.
  • The “unlawful introduction” of Graph Search.
  • Granting third-party applications access to user information.
  • Monitoring user activity via big data analytics.

Readers: Do you think this class-action suit has a chance?


Image of gavel courtesy of Shutterstock.

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