Max Schrems’ Facebook Suit Hits 20,000 Applicants

Last week privacy activist Max Schrems launched a class action suit against Facebook, calling on all eligible users to join him. He now has 20,000 cohorts on his side.

Gil C / Shutterstock.com

Photo: Gil C / Shutterstock

The suit, which has been filed in Schrems’ home of Austria, says Facebook violates European data protection laws and makes a number of accusations against Facebook’s use of user data including tracking browsers and even alleged involvement in the NSA’s PRISM program.

This morning Schrems confirmed that people joining his case on Fbclaim.com had reached 20,000. It was a mere 5,000 during this past weekend.

“The class action against Facebook, which was submitted last Thursday in Vienna, exceeds all expectations,” says Schrems this morning in his statement, adding that the 20,000 people spread across 100 countries.

This excludes the US and Canada. Schrems’ case is based on European data protection law with Facebook’s European HQ in Dublin handling all operations outside of North America.

Schrems also provided the top 10 countries for respondents with Germany topping the list.

1. Germany – 5,287
2. Austria – 3,712
3. Netherlands – 2,438
4. Finland – 1,179
5. Croatia – 1,106
6. United Kingdom – 913
7. Belgium – 894
8. France – 736
9. Serbia – 588
10. Poland – 415

“We were well prepared for this huge amount of claims. Nevertheless we have to limit the claims after this short time, because we will have to verify and administer every individual claim,” says Schrems, who will be capping applicants at 25,000.

“With this number of participants we have a great basis, to stop complaining about privacy violations and actually do something about it. If we are successful, the outcome will of course have a positive impact on all users.”

Schrems and co. say they are optimistic that their case will reach court before the end of the year.