Facebook Ireland lawsuit passes 60k supporters mark

21 Aug 2014

The lawsuit filed by ‘Europe v Facebook’ against the social network’s international operations based in Dublin has amassed more than 60,000 supporters, meaning Facebook could potentially have to shell out more than €12m.

The group based in Vienna, Austria, initiated the lawsuit in response to accusations over people’s rights to privacy being violated both directly and indirectly by the company, social experimentation on users without consent, and various data use policies.

The group is largely represented from Germany and Austria but has widened to include the countries of the Netherlands, the UK and Finland, and with 60,000 backers, the chances that Facebook could pay up is looking ever-increasing, according to TechCrunch.

Facebook Ireland has been assigned as the respondent in the lawsuit and with the authority of the court system in Vienna, has been given four weeks to respond to the lawsuit.

Of the 60,000 people signed up to the lawsuit, fewer than half of those – 25,000 – have registered themselves to the claim while the remaining 35,000 are waiting in the wings to join once it has garnered more signatories.

With each current signatory expecting to receive €500 each, this would put the lawsuit at a total of €12.5m, which could rise if the lawsuit garners more claimants.

As is most likely the case, Facebook could refuse to respond to the organisation’s claims, which will put power back in the hands of the Austrian judges who will make the judgment on its behalf.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic