Class Action against Facebook Ireland


Aim. The aim of the lawsuit is to make Facebook finally operate lawfully in the area of data protection.

Plaintiff. The primary plaintiff is a consumer and privacy law expert (Max Schrems). All other Facebook users are asked to join the case as part of an ‘Austrian style class action’. This will occur in the next few months through ‘assignments’ of claims of other Facebook users from all over the world to the primary claimant. Unlike in a US class action, participants must therefore actively come forward, but can be joined at any time. The necessary assignment can be carried out within a few minutes at www.fbclaim.com through a specially developed ‘assignment app’ for computers and smart phones. All adult non-commercial Facebook users outside Canada and the USA can take part.

Violations. The suit is essentially based on the following unlawful acts of Facebook Ireland:

  • Data use policy which is invalid under EU law
  • The absence of effective consent to many types of data use
  • Support of the NSA’s ‘PRISM’ surveillance programme
  • Tracking of Internet users on external websites (e.g. through ‘Like buttons’)
  • Monitoring and analysis of users through ‘big data’ systems
  • Unlawful introduction of ‘Graph Search’
  • Unauthorised passing on of user data to external applications

Hybrid. While European data protection law applies, the claims for damages in accordance with Facebook’s conditions of use will have to be assessed under Californian law. In the case of Facebook Ireland, both European data protection law and US tort law are applicable.

The claim for damages has been deliberately set low, at a token €500 per user. We are only claiming a small amount, as our primary objective is to ensure correct data protection. However, if many thousands of people participate we would reach an amount that will have a serious impact on Facebook.

. The lawsuit is organized and run without consideration. There is no risk of costs for participants of the class action, as only Schrems will figure as a claimant. The suit is being financed entirely by ROLAND ProzessFinanz AG. If it is successful, ROLAND will receive 20% as legal funding provider.

Updates. You can find the latest updates and the relevant documtents on fbclaim.com (see “Updates”).