UK & World News

  • 6 August 2014, 14:22

Thousands Demand Privacy Payout From Facebook

A lawyer who plans to sue Facebook over privacy on behalf of thousands of people says he has been overwhelmed with support.

Clients from more than 100 countries have signed up to join Max Schrems' legal challenge.

Among them are more than 1,000 people from the UK and Ireland.

Mr Schrems is claiming damages of ?500 (397) per supporter in the Austrian courts for alleged data protection violations by the social network, including over the US Prism spy programme.

The class action claims Facebook is in breach of European law on users' data and it violates rights by tracking internet use on external sites.

Mr Scrhems said the maximum number of users he will represent is 25,000, giving him and his team time to verify each account.

He said that at peak times since last Friday a new user was joining the claim every six seconds.

"We have hoped for large support, but the number of participants in such a short time exceeded my most optimistic expectations," he said.

Germany, regarded as one of Europe's more privacy conscious countries, has the highest number of people backing the case with 5,287.

When the numbers hit 25,000, the campaign will continue to register additional users in case the claim is expanded.

The action is being taken against the Irish subsidiary of the New York-listed web giant.

Facebook has several weeks to respond to the claims.

Advertisement