0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Max Schrems and 25,000 others poke at Facebook’s privacy policy in latest ECJ proceedings

24 July 2017

Following his ‘Safe Harbor’ victory, Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems is again acting as a thorn in Facebook’s side as he attempts to challenge a variety of its data protection practices, ranging from its tracking of users’ activity on external sites, absence of consent mechanisms, and aspects of its privacy policy. What distinguishes this case is the fact that Schrems is attempting to claim on behalf of 25,000 other consumers across the globe.

After appeals through the Austrian courts, the Austrian Supreme Court has recently referred the case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to decide whether Schrems can be considered a consumer and whether he can claim on behalf of 25,000 others, some of whom are not resident in Austria or even the EU.

An opinion is due from Advocate General, Michal Bobek on 7 November 2017, with the ECJ decision expected later in the year.

This is the latest in a string of European claims against US tech firms and their handling of personal data and could have huge ramifications for companies that are slacking when it comes to personal data policies. The time and cost involved in litigating over data issues frequently deters the individual claimant from pursuing an action, but being able to join together in action, on a global scale, will see consumers considerably empowered.

This will be compounded by the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on 25 May 2018, which imposes stricter obligations on companies in and, sometimes even outside, of the EU.

It is therefore critical that companies, technological and otherwise, have a GDPR implementation plan to ensure they are compliant in time for next May.

In the meantime, watch this space for the Advocate General’s opinion in early November.

related opinions

Marriott International: a look behind the ICO’s £99m fine and what this means for corporate acquisitions

Last month, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) announced notice of its intention to fine (NOI) Marriott International, Inc. £99m for infringements of the GDPR.

View blog

SFO fail to secure individual criminal convictions following Deferred Prosecution Agreement

On 16 July 2019 the Serious Fraud Office released details of the Deferred Prosecution Agreement reached with Sarclad Ltd in July 2016.

View blog

Supreme Court backs employers seeking to enforce restrictive covenants: Tillman v Egon Zehnder Ltd

The Supreme Court in Tillman v Egon Zehnder Ltd has determined that where post-termination restrictive covenants (i.e. “non-compete” clauses) in employment contracts go further than reasonably necessary to protect an employer’s business interests, it can apply the ‘blue pencil test,’ severing the offending words and leaving the remaining enforceable clause in place.

View blog

Discount rate remains negative

The much anticipated revision of the discount rate has arrived with the Lord Chancellor, David Gauke, announcing that it will be fixed at -0.25%.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up