“You don’t have to be a genius to do this. Facebook offers simply too many points vulnerable to attack. And someone’s got to do it.”
Words from Viennese law student Max Schrems, who with “Europe vs. Facebook,” a group of about a dozen people, is working to get Facebook into better compliance with European data protection laws. After the Irish authorities declined to follow up on complaints Schrems filed, the group is now crowdfunding a lawsuit against the European authorities responsible for regulating the social networking company. They can’t sue the company itself, only its European regulators; but this lawsuit could be appealed all the way to the European Court of Justice. The group estimates the lawsuit will cost about 300,000 euros, of which they’ve collected 20,000 euros since the campaign started last week. Schrems’s legal activism uses 1200 pages of information collected by fb about him and his network of friends, including all his deleted posts, that he received from fb two years ago. He was inspired to request his data from the company after hearing an “absurd” presentation by one of its employees during a study abroad semester in Silicon Valley.