Law group to sue over Facebook privacy
Campaign group europe-v-facebook plans to bring an action in Ireland over Facebook's privacy rights, the group said today.
The Austrian student group has been campaigning for better data protection by Facebook for more than a year and has won some concessions, notably pushing the world's biggest social network to switch off its facial recognition feature in Europe.
But the group said today the changes did not go far enough and it was disappointed with the response of the Data Protection Commissioner in Ireland, which had carried out an investigation after europe-v-facebook filed numerous complaints.
"The Irish authority is miles away from other European data protection authorities in its understanding of the law, and failed to investigate many things. Facebook also gave the authority the runaround," it said in a statement.
"We are hoping for a legally compliant solution from the Irish data protection authority. Unfortunately, that is highly doubtful at the moment. Therefore we are also preparing ourselves for a lawsuit in Ireland."
A spokeswoman for the social networking site today said the way in which Facebook handles European users data has been subject to thorough review by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner over the past year.
"The latest DPC report demonstrates not only how Facebook adheres to European data protection law but also how we go beyond it, in achieving best practice. Nonetheless we have some vocal critics who will never be happy whatever we do and whatever the DPC concludes," she added.
Facebook is also facing a class-action lawsuit in the United States, where it is charged with violating privacy rights by publicising users' "likes" without giving them a way to opt out.
A US judge gave his preliminary approval late yesterday to a second attempt to settle the case by paying users up to $10 each out of a settlement fund of $20 million.
Additional reporting: Reuters