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Facebook class action privacy lawsuit counts 60,000 punters

Social network has four weeks to respond
Fri Aug 22 2014, 09:18
Facebook privacy lawsuit is stuffed with backers

A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT against Facebook is going ahead in Austria with some 25,000 people behind it.

The complaint was filed by Austrian student Max Schrems and has attracted at least 25,000 backers, with 35,000 more that have expressed an interest.

Yesterday a court in Vienna held an initial hearing, and gave Facebook four weeks to produce a response or counter statement to the complaint.

"The first step in the legal procedure is hereby taken. Facebook Ireland may be able to get an extension of this time limit of additional four weeks. If Facebook Ireland would refuse to submit a counter statement the court would be able to make a judgment in absence based on the lawsuit," said a statement on the Europe v Facebook website.

"So far more than 25.000 Facebook users from outside of the US and Canada have assigned their claims to join the class action, in what has become the largest privacy class action in Europe overnight. An additional 35.000 users have registered."

25,000 is the class action limit on the number of plaintiffs that can take part in the case in its first instance. The 35,000 could be added if the case is expanded.

We have asked Facebook to respond. The case gathered an almost immediate positive response and the first 20,000 class members leaped to join the lawsuit in no time at all.

Facebook's privacy history is rather checquered and while this lawsuit is a legal matter for the courts, the social network has previously attracted the attention of various privacy rights organisations and national data protection watchdogs. µ


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