Keep up with the latest developments and legal issues in the telecommunications and emerging technology sectors, with exclusive access to a comprehensive collection of telecommunications law news,...
Oct. 21 — Privacy advocate Max Schrems will be allowed to go forward with litigation in Austria over his allegations that Facebook Inc. improperly allowed his personal information to be shared with the U.S. National Security Agency, after the Vienna Higher Regional Court Oct. 21 ruled in his favor on 20 of 22 claims.
Schrems, an Austrian student, is the same plaintiff that asked the Irish data protection authority to investigate whether Facebook, which has its European Union base in Ireland, cooperated with NSA. The Irish DPA's refusal to investigate because Facebook's transfers of personal data to the U.S. were done under the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Program.
Ultimately, the European Court of Justice, the EU's top court took up the case and ruled that the Safe Harbor is invalid because it doesn't adequately protect data from U.S. mass surveillance.
The Irish privacy office has now opened an investigation into the complaint filed by Schrems.
The Vienna ruling overturned a lower court that ruled it lacked jurisdiction over the complaint.
In an Oct. 21 statement, Schrems said the lower court said he was acting as an advocate and not as a private consumer.
The Vienna court didn't authorize an appeal to the Austrian Supreme Court on the grounds cited by the lower court, Schrems said, meaning that the bulk of the case against Facebook is likely to be heard in Austrian civil court.
The court decided against Schrems on the question of whether he could represent other plaintiffs in the case. Because Austria doesn't recognize class action civil suits,
Schrems requested that other plaintiffs wishing to file claims against Facebook allow him to take over those claims, an attorney who only agreed to speak on background told Bloomberg BNA Oct. 21.
But the court decided that EU law doesn't permit the assigning of claims to other consumers in a court of local jurisdiction, Schrems said.
Still, the court ruled that because this particular type of de facto class action hasn't been dealt with by the Austrian Supreme Court, it allowed an appeal of related issues. Schrems said he would exercise his right to appeal those issues to the Supreme Court.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jabeen Bhatti in Berlin at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Donald G. Aplin at firstname.lastname@example.org
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)