Austria's highest court mulls class action status for Schrems v Facebook

1000s of privacy gripes deserve to be heard, says complainant

Mr Schrems poses outside Ireland's teeny-tiny data protection office

Austria's highest court is poised to consider whether the Schrems vs Facebook case should be granted class-action status.

Complainant Max Schrems, who has tirelessly campaigned against Facebook's alleged privacy violations, said that the claims of thousands of others needed to be heard in court.

"It would not make a lot of sense for the court or the parties before it to file these claims as thousands of individual lawsuits – which we can still do if a 'class action' is not allowed," he said.

"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," added Schrems.

An earlier ruling by Vienna's Court of Appeals had rejected the Austrian student's bid for class action status, on the grounds of European Union procedural law.

Austria's Supreme Court is expected to reveal its decision early in 2016.

Schrems' legal actions have already had a seismic affect on the EU-US Safe Harbour pact, which was deemed invalid by the European Court of Justice in October. ®

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