Facebook has to pay activist 500 euros due to uncertain privacy

That’s what the Supreme Court in Vienna has decided (PDF). In addition, the tech giant must hand over all collected information about the man as soon as possible.

Schrems took his privacy organization to court, because Facebook collected data about him and did not want to release it. According to him, this is contrary to European privacy law.

Because he could not see what was happening with his data due to the opposition from Facebook, Schrems said he had to live in uncertainty with emotional damage as a result. The judge agrees with him, which means that his claim for 500 euros is also granted.

The verdict follows in an appeal, after another judge also agreed with Schrems. The initial lawsuit began in 2014, even before the new privacy law came into effect.

Another profession

The activist sued Facebook only on his own behalf, because he was not allowed to go to court on behalf of all European users. Still, the ruling could affect more Facebook visitors: it could set a precedent in similar lawsuits.

Although Schrems has been proved right, he is nevertheless filing a new appeal. The judge said it could be seen as necessary for Facebook to collect private data to make money. The activist fears this claim could be misused to get around the law in the future.


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