Austrian law student Max Schrems on Friday asked a billion Facebook users to join his class-action lawsuit against Facebook’s alleged violations of user privacy, Reuters reported.
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Schrems, who already has a case pending at the European Court of Justice against Facebook, has filed a claim at Vienna’s commercial court and invited other users to join his action at www.fbclaim.com using their Facebook login.
Austrian law permits groups to transfer their financial claims to a single person—Schrems in this case, and then legal proceedings can effectively be presented as a class action.
Schrems is claiming damages of $670 per user for alleged privacy violations, including supporting the NSA in running its Prism program, which mined the personal data of Facebook users, as well as users of other websites.
Schrems is also seeking injunctions under EU data-protection law, through a court in Austria, where privacy protection is highly regarded. “Our aim is to make Facebook finally operate lawfully in the area of data protection, ” he declared.
Users from outside the U.S. and Canada may sign up to join the Austrian case, since Facebook runs all its international operations from Ireland, which is a member of the EU.
Facebook has 1.32 billion users. It had a 61 percent increase in sales in Q2/14, with the company’s value reaching close to $200 billion.