In March I wrote about Max Schrems one man war against Facebook and their privacy-stealing policy (see post here). He originally went to the Irish data protection commissioner but withdrew that complaint after it became clear that nothing would get resolved in that venue for years. Then he went to the Vienna District Court saying that he was a resident of Austria. That decision came down on June 25th. They decided to kick the can down the road (I guess they have been watching American courts for too long) and said that the laws that he was accusing Facebook of violating were designed to protect consumers and he was a business. They did say he was an attention hound, but other than that, did not rule on the merits of the case.
Schrems said he was disappointed and surprised, but said he plans to appeal. Schrems was a law student at the time of his initial filing; I assume he is an attorney now, so if he wins, it would be good for business and his legal costs are pretty low (just his time). Facebook of course, said they were happy.
Separately, Schrems has filed suit in the ECJ – the European Court Of Justice, so between the appeal and the ECJ action, Facebook is still fighting a war on several fronts. Stay tuned, this likely to go on for years.
The Irish Times article can be found here.