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November 23, 2015

Austrian court to rule on Facebook privacy lawsuit

News: 25,000 people want to combine their claim into one case.

By Charlotte Henry

A case against Facebook over its handling of personal data is headed to the Austrian Supreme Court.

Law student Max Schrems’s class action law suit has received 25,000 signatories, each claiming €500 each.

Schrems has been allowed to launch a personal suit against the social media giant, but it now needs to be decided whether a class action case can go forward.

In a statement, Scherms’s Europe vs Facebook group said "it would not make sense" for all the individuals to file cases separately, and "we therefore think that the ‘class action’ is not only legal but also the only reasonable way to deal with thousands of identical privacy violations by Facebook."

Facebook has denied any wrongdoing, and has tried to block class action lawsuits.

Facebook vs Europe says that "It is almost impossible for the user to really know what happens to his or her personal data when using Facebook."

It says that while Facebook claims personal data use is an opt-in system, in reality it is more opt-out, when EU law says user has to unambiguously consent to any use of its data, after being properly informed about the specific form of use.

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The group is trying to see if EU data protection laws are "enforceable in practice".

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