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Facebook safe from massive privacy lawsuit for now


A senior adviser for the European Union’s top court told an Austrian privacy activist on Tuesday that he can’t sue Facebook on behalf of 25,000 people.

The adviser said that activist Max Schrems could sue the company on his own but that a class action suit would likely fall flat in court.

Schrems has accused the social network of violating European privacy laws, taking aim at what he sees as invalid privacy policies and data-sharing agreements the company has with US intelligence agencies.

A run-in with Facebook is nothing new for the activist, who was responsible for bringing the case that resulted in the EU’s highest court declaring in 2015 that Safe Harbor, the US-Europe data-sharing pact, was illegal.

He is now trying to sue the company’s Irish division in Austrian court, not only for violating his own privacy, but the privacy of about 25,000 signatories who live in Austria, Germany and India. His hope is to claim 500 euros ($576) in damages for each of them, or about $12.5 million euros.

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