from the 25,000-people-can't-all-be-wrong dept.
Max Schrems is hoping for approval from the EU Court of Justice to bring an Austrian-style collective suit against Facebook. Unlike the earlier case in Ireland which dealt primarily with US mass surveillance, this Austria-based case focuses on the commercial misuse of personal data by Facebook. The lawsuit addresses alleged violations of privacy by Facebook through, for starters, its misuse of personal data and tracking of users on external pages. He is backed by his earlier case that the user data of EU citizens was not sufficiently protected when shipped to the U.S.
- Facebook Challenged by Activist Who Broke EU-U.S. Data Pact
- Austrian activist, 25,000 supporters seek right to bring class-action suit against Facebook
- Facebook Ireland fights Max Schrems over class action suit
An opinion is expected by November 7th from Advocate General Michal Bobek, a court advisor, the final judgment by the end of the year.
The case is C-498/16, Schrems.
While most of the newspapers were distracting the public with the antics of Mark Zuckerberg, a European Union High Court raised 11 important questions regarding privacy (warning for PDF) that will affect large data-gathering operations like Facebook. The 11 questions have been passed upwards to the most senior EU court and are based on a current case started by Max Schrems.
The Irish High Court referral, published on Thursday and due to be submitted to the ECJ by the end of April, stems from a case brought by an Austrian privacy activist against the methods used by Facebook to store user data on U.S. servers following revelations in 2013 of mass U.S. surveillance practices.
[...] The High Court's five-page referral asks the Court of Justice of the EU (ECJ) if the Privacy Shield - under which companies certify they comply with EU privacy law when transferring data to the United States - does in fact mean that the United States "ensures an adequate level of protection".
Opponents can still appeal the court's referral any time until the end of the month. The proposed Privacy Shield legislation is the EU's follow up framework to cover transfers of personal data to outside the EU. It is being written as a replacement for the now invalidated International Safe Harbor Privacy Principles. The Safe Harbour agreement was brought down, after an earlier two-year lawsuit (Case C-362/14) by Max Schrems, because of its inadequate protections in light of the Snowden revelations.
From Reuters : EU's top court asked to probe Facebook U.S. data transfers
The Irish Times : High Court sets out 11 questions for ECJ on EU-US data transfers
Ars Technica : Facebook data transfers to be examined by EU court, Irish judge rules
See also an intial analysis, http://www.europe-v-facebook.org/sh2/PA-ref.pdf
Facebook is trying to block Schrems II privacy referral to EU top court. In an attempt to get Ireland's Supreme Court to decide about accepting their appeal, their lawyer has asked for the referral to the EU court to be delayed while at the same time asking for an unusal accelerated referral to Ireland's Supreme Court.
Facebook’s lawyers are attempting to block a High Court decision in Ireland, where its international business is headquartered, to refer a long-running legal challenge to the bloc’s top court.
[...] The case relates to a complaint filed by privacy campaigner and lawyer Max Schrems regarding a transfer mechanism that’s currently used by thousands of companies to authorize flows of personal data on EU citizens to the US for processing. Though Schrems was actually challenging the use of so-called Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) by Facebook, specifically, when he updated an earlier complaint on the same core data transfer issue — which relates to US government mass surveillance practices, as revealed by the 2013 Snowden disclosures — with Ireland’s data watchdog.
Also at Reuters : Facebook bids to keep data privacy case from EU's top court.
Earlier on SN:
High Court Sets Out 11 Questions for ECJ on EU-US Data Transfers
Austria Resident Max Schrems is Organizing a Privacy-Oriented Class-Action Suit Against Facebook
EU Top Court Rules Safe Harbour Treaty Invalid