ECJ about Schrems against Facebook case
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), ruled that Austrian lawyer, Maximilian Schrems, could sue Facebook in his home country, with respect to their handling of his personal data. However, the CJEU ruled that he could not bring a consumer lawsuit on behalf of 25 000 Facebook users (who he contacted via Facebook) for alleged privacy breaches. Facebook claimed that Schrems was a ‘professional litigant’, and not a neutral consumer, meaning that he had no right to sue Facebook in Austria – but had to sue them in Ireland, where Facebook’s European headquarters are located. On Thursday, the CJEU ruled that Schrems could sue Facebook as a consumer in Austria – despite his activities (publishing books, giving lectures, fundraising, and his campaigning Facebook page) – because he primarily used his account for personal reasons.
Schrems sought to use EU consumer laws to sue Facebook for damages worth €500 for each of his signatories. EU judges said that his claims did not fall under Europe’s consumer protection laws, although he could still sue Facebook individually in the Austrian courts.