Max Schrems Takes Facebook Privacy Case to EU Court

Privacy activist Max Schrems is taking a case against Facebook to the European Court of Justice today to prevent US government agencies accessing user data.

max schrems

Photo: Gil C / Shutterstock

Schrems filed a case against Ireland’s Data Protection Commission last year, claiming that Ireland needs to investigate the data protection practices of Facebook. The social network’s European HQ is based in Ireland and is responsible for all users outside of North America.

The case could have serious implications for US tech companies with operations in Ireland, which also includes Twitter, Apple, Microsoft, and Dropbox among several others.

The Austrian’s legal efforts against Facebook and the Irish government have been crowdfunded with many privacy-minded users keen to be involved.

According to a report from the Irish Times, Schrems is seeking clarification on the “safe harbour” rules in the exchange of data between Europe and the US.

Those rules, dubbed “Safe Harbour”, allow US companies process data collected in the EU once they “self-certify” that this processing meets EU standards of “adequate protection” even outside EU borders.

Once Schrems had asked the Irish data regulator to investigate the safe harbour rules following the Snowden revelations, namely Prism, the agency said it was a “political matter, beyond its remit.”

The case is being heard today. We will update this story when more info emerges.