The class action filed against the social networking site earlier this month, which could become Europe’s largest data privacy suit, has now gained more than 60,000 supporters.
The lawsuit is filed by the group ‘Europe v Facebook’, which is headed by law student Max Schrems, and has 25,000 members. Each member, it is said, is expecting to receive €500 each, potentially leaving Facebook having to pay €12 million and more if the lawsuit expands. Facebook Ireland — where the comany’s headquarters are — has been given four weeks to respond to the lawsuit.
Although the majority of the members of Europe v Facebook come from Germany and Austria, it is looking at increasing participation by supporters from the Netherlands, the UK and Finland, Potential backers from U.S. and Canada are not permitted to register because of how Facebook assigns its terms and conditions. “For legal reasons we cannot extend it to U.S./Canadian users,” Schrems tells TechCrunch. “The class action was filed against Facebook Ireland, the international branch with about 82% of Facebook’s worldwide customers. Users in the U.S. and Canada have a contract with Facebook U.S., another legal entity. They cannot join a class action against an entity that they don’t have any contract with.”
Facebook may choose not to respond to the filings in which case its up to the Austrian judges who will make the final judgment.
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The lawsuit was filed by the group from Vienna, Austria addressing accusations over privacy standards being violated by the company. This comes in the wake of the recent disclosure of social experiments carried out by Facebook with researchers from Carnegie Mellon University without user consent.
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(Image Credit: Maria Ly)