Viennese lawyer and privacy activist Max Schrems has filed a class action suit with the Commercial Court for Vienna against the Irish subsidiary of Facebook for violation of European data protection laws.
The Europe v Facebook website has an app that allows EU residents to become part of the suit. So far the organization is reporting that 11,000 people have signed on.
The suit alleges the following complaints against Facebook:
- Data use policy which is invalid under EU law
- The absence of effective consent to many types of data use
- Support of the NSA’s ‘PRISM’ surveillance programme
- Tracking of Internet users on external websites (e.g. through Like buttons)
- Monitoring and analysis of users through big data systems
- Unlawful introduction of Graph Search
- Unauthorised passing on of user data to external applications
Boy that PRISM program is just winning friends the world over, isn’t it?
European data law says that Facebook must provide all the data they have on individual users within 40 days if the user requests it, but the EVF says Facebook basically ignores these requests. In fact, Facebook has oh-so-helpfully removed the form used to request data from their website.
So the EVF website also has a place to register a complaint with the Irish Data Protection Commissioner about Facebook’s non-compliance, but since they’re not doing anything there is also a way to protest the Irish authority sitting on their hands to the European Commission.
And if the whole thing sounds like a clusterfuck, just remember — US data privacy laws are far inferior to EU laws, and unlikely to get any better.