02/10/2017 - Irish High Court refers "PRISM / Facebook" case to CJEU for a second time

Today the Irish High Court has delivered a judgement on the Facebook / PRISM complaint. It will be referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union for a second time.

>> Media Update (PDF)



06/02/2017 - Irish High Court hears DPC lawsuit against Facebook & Schrems

Starting on Tuesday February 7th 2017 the Irish High Court will hear a case brought by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) against Facebook Ireland Ltd and Mr Schrems over EU-US data transfers after the Snowden disclosures. The United States Government has joined the procedure as amicus curiae. The hearing isplanned to last for three weeks.

>> More Info (PDF)



12/09/2016 - Austrian Supreme Court refers Facebook privacy class action to EU top court

The Austrian Supreme Court has decided today to refer the "Privacy Class Action" against Facebook to the European Court of Justice (CJEU).

Media Update (PDF)

Decision (PDF, German)



13/06/2016 - US Government seeks to join European US mass surveillance case

In an unusual move the United States government has asked the Irish High Court today, to be joined as a party in a case between the Austrian privacy activist and lawyer Max Schrems and the social network Facebook. The US government likely wants to defend its surveillance laws before the European Courts and highlighted the significance of the case for the United States before the High Court. The US administration has previously argued that European Courts have misrepresented the surveillance laws applicable to US tech companies, when data reached the US.

>> Media Update (PDF)



25/05/2016 - Irish Data Protection Commissioner to bring EU-US data flows before CJEU again

Yesterday night, we were informed that the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) is planning to refer to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to determine if Facebook can continue to transfer data from the EU to the US after the invalidation of the “Safe Harbor” system by the Court on October 6th 2015 and given continues application of US mass surveillance laws.

If not, Facebook would be banned from transferring data from its international headquarter in Dublin, Ireland to the United States. Under current CJEU case law, it is highly unlikely that Facebook Ireland would could continue sharing data with the US authorities.

Details: Media Update [PDF]



02/12/2015 - Ireland, Belgium and Germany requested to investigate Facebook

Today we filed three complaints against "Facebook" in Ireland, Germany and Belgium in the wake of the "PRISM" judgement of the CJEU (C-362/14) to force Facebook to protect our data from US spying. All documents can be found here.

>> Media Update (PDF)



23/11/2015 - "Facebook Class Action" reaches Austrian Supreme Court

The Vienna Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht Wien) has issued a written decision on the “Facebook privacy class action”. On 20 of 22 claims that the Vienna Regional court has previously rejected, claiming it lacks jurisdiction, the Appeals Court has found in favor of the plaintiff. The status of the "class action" is still disputed.

The plaintiff has now appealed to the Austrian Supreme Court claiming that the "class action" is admissable in this situation. Facebook has to the contrary filed an appeal claiming that the case should not be heard in the court. The decision by the Austrian Supreme Court is expected early next year.

>> Full Media Update (PDF)



21/10/2015 - Austrian Court of Appeals: 20 of 22 points in Facebook Privacy Lawsuit upheld

The Vienna Court of Appeal (Oberlandesgericht Wien) has issued a written decision on the “Facebook privacy class action”. On 20 of 22 claims that the Vienna Regional court has previously rejected, claiming it lacks jurisdiction, the Appeals Court has found in favor of the plaintiff. The status of the "class action" is still disputed, but an appeal to the Supreme Court was granted.

>> Full Media Update (PDF)



21/10/2015 - Irish High Court: DPC to investigate Facebook's PRISM participation

The Irish High Court has decided that the Irish Data Protection Commissioner has to investigate "Facebook Ireland Ltd" over alleged cooperation of "Facebook Inc" with US spy agencies, such as under the NSA's "PRISM" program.

>> Short Update (PDF)



16/10/2015 - First Views on CJEU ruling

We just published a first analysis with first thoughts on the CJEU ruling, alternative transfer methods (under Art 26 of Directive 95/46) and a "Safe Harbor 2.0". LINK



06/10/2015 - CJEU decision on 'Safe Harbor' / Facebook

The CJEU has just now announced its decision in the 'Safe Harbor' case (C-362/14).
Further information will also be available at twitter.com/maxschrems.

>> First Reaction (PDF)



05/10/2015 - Tomorrow: Ruling on 'Safe Harbor' / Mass Survillance

In preperation of the decision on October 6th, please check the prep-document (PDF).

The decision will very likely be delivered between 9:30 and 10:00 CET tomorrow.
The result will be tweeted in the very moment of the delivered at www.twitter.com/maxschrems.
The court typically sends out a first information soon after the judgement was delivered.

We try to send out a first response within 30 minutes to 1 hour after the judgement is delivered.
You will find all documents here and on twitter.
Please also check your spam filter, as our emails do not always make it to the recipient.

I will be available for interviews after the initial response is circulated.
Please understand that there are time constraints involved.



24/09/2015 - Advocate General: EU-US 'Safe Harbor' deal invalid over US spy scandal

Today the AG Yves Bot has presented his opinion in the case C-362/14 on Facebook, PRISM and 'Safe Harbor'.

First Reaction and Interpretation:
- First Reaction (PDF)
- Fact Sheet (PDF)
- FAQs (PDF)

Further Updates will be available here and on Twitter:  @maxschrems.



24/09/2015 - CJEU: Advocate General Yves Bot presents Facebook/PRISM/'Safe Harbor' opinion on September 23rd

On Wednesday, September 23rd the AG Yves Bot will deliver his opinion in Case C-362/14 on Facebook’s cooperation with the NSA and the ‘safe harbor’ system.

All updates and reactions after the delivery of the opinion will be available on this page and via twitter (@maxschrems and @europevfacebook). Journalists can also get an update via email by signing up to the mailing list on the “media” page.

The following documents are shared in preparation of the delivery:
- Media Update (PDF)
- Fact Sheet (PDF)



15/09/2015 - Vienna Class Action: Facebook “Pages” now belong to private users – not companies?

Latest bizarre move by Facebook in Austrian Class Action: Millions of commercial Facebook “pages“ shall now be “factually and legally inseparable” from private user accounts, in an attempt to bypass EU consumer protection laws. This recent argument by Facebook can have huge implications for businesses using Facebook “pages”. “Pages” are Facebook accounts for businesses, brands and organizations.

More: Update (PDF); Excerpt of Submission (PDF, German)



01/07/2015 - Viennese Court does not want “hot potato”?!

In first instance the Vienna Regional Court ("Landesgericht") found that a European “class action” against Facebook is not admissible on procedural grounds. The court, taking the first decision in this case, has not made and findings on the content of the lawsuit (the numerous alleged violations of EU privacy laws), but has found that is has no jurisdiction on formal grounds.

The case will be appealed to the "Oberlandesgericht" (Higher Regional Court).

>> Full Media Update (PDF)



09/06/2015 - CJEU - Opinion by AG Bot delayed

Today we were informed that the opinion on the "Safe Harbor" / PRISM case before the Court of Justice of the European Union will be by Advocate General Bot will be delayed and not delivered on June 24th as previously announced.



09/04/2015 - UPDATE: Prep Hearing in Vienna went very well...

The first hearing before the Vienna Regional Court went well. Schrems: “The hearing went very good from my view. Facebook tried to argue that I am not a consumer and I think it is fair to say that they failed in this respect. I am now very much looking forward to the written decision.”

The Vienna Regional Court has allowed Facebook to translate and submit another document. A decision on the jurisdiction in Vienna will then be delivered in writing. This decision will then very likely be subject to appeals. It is very likely that Facebook will use every breadcrumb to oppose the filing in Vienna and engage in further delay tactics. It will only be after some time that the jurisdictional question will be determined. Schrems: “You need a lot of patience to enforce your fundamental rights.”

Only after there is a final decision on the jurisdiction the court will hear the actual content of the case – a large number of alleged privacy violations by Facebook.




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