Student’s Facebook Privacy Suit Gained Massive Support Added: Saturday, August 9th, 2014
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Over 17,000 Facebook users have decided to join a class action lawsuit which accuses the social network of infringing data protection law and supporting spying by the NSA. The lawsuit in question was launched in the early August by a 26-year-old Austrian law student, Max Schrems. Schrems filed his claim in Austria, calling for 1 billion Facebook users to join his case. And some of them did. Indeed, lots of them did.
About 7,000 Facebook members every day sign up for the action through a specially created application, which can be accessed from desktop PCs and mobile devices. They are required to hand over details of their memberships, addresses and scans of IDs.
Max Schrems described the response to his appeal as “giant”, saying that emails and feedback have been really positive. He launched the case against Dublin-based Facebook Ireland, which runs the network’s activities outside of the United States. He is trying to make Facebook operate lawfully in the area of data protection.
Today Facebook has 1.32 billion users, while the company’s stock is trading at a record high, providing the company’s valuation at almost $200bn. However, the student claims that Facebook Ireland has committed unlawful acts – for example, support of the NSA’s “PRISM” surveillance program, tracking Facebook users on third-party websites. It could do so via “like” buttons, passing user information to third-party applications without authorization, and not securing effective consent for many types of data use.
The lawsuit particularly mentioned Graph Search, a Facebook feature that produced lists of named members in response to such queries as “Friends from San Francisco”, or “Facebook employees from London”.
The lawsuit sets the claim for damages at a “token” €500 member and is being financed entirely by Roland Prozessfinanz. The latter is a specialist litigation funding company, and it will take 20% of any damages awarded, with the rest 80% being handed back to the claimants, unless the balance is under €5 – in this case money will be donated to charity.
Austrian law allows a group of people to assign their claims to one litigant (in our case, Max Schrems) to create a class action. The difference is that people who hand over their claim to Schrems won’t be liable for any costs. Max explained that the group claims a small amount because their real aim is not to get money but to ensure correct data protection. However, if the action attracts many thousands of people, it will result in an amount having a serious impact on the tech giant.
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Saturday, August 9th, 2014
|Emails and live video chat has been around longer that Fartbook. Why dumb asses use it is beyond me.|
|posted by (2014-08-12 11:50:00)|
|never touched facebook and never will|
|We in the west may find out what "democracy" really means when this lawsuit reaches its conclusion.||
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