Angry Austrian takes a hit in David and Goliath Facebook battle

Vienna court says it has no jurisdiction in misuse of personal data case

The Vienna Regional Court has thrown out a case against Facebook brought by Austrian Max Schrems, on procedural grounds.

Last August, Schrems filed the lawsuit containing a long list of alleged violations of EU privacy laws with an Austrian court.

Using a specially-designed app, 25,000 FB users joined the class-action suit. A further 60,000 have also registered to join at a later date.

Schrems accuses Facebook of illegally analysing user data, tracking users on third-party pages and participating in the US National Security Agency spying programme. However, the court ruled on Wednesday that it has no jurisdiction in the matter. Facebook had argued that the proper place for litigation would be in Ireland or California, where Facebook is headquartered.

The court further agreed with Facebook’s claim that Schrems could not be considered a “consumer” and had used his Facebook page for professional reasons. In November, the social media monster had claimed its users were not fit to file a class action against it.

Schrems has two weeks to appeal. A separate case involving Schrems and Facebook is already before the European Court of Justice. ®

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