Facebook has been given four weeks to respond to a class action lawsuit filed by over 25,000 European users over alleged privacy violations.
Austrian law student Max Schrems is the main plaintiff in the case, which has now been reviewed by the Vienna Regional Court, TechCrunch reports. If Facebook fails to respond to the class action within four weeks, the court may issue a ruling in their absence.
Over 60,000 Facebook users signed up to take part in the lawsuit, despite the class action being limited to 25,000 participants. With Schrems claiming damages of €500 (around $US660) per user, Facebook could be forced to pay out around $US16.5 million, according to TechCrunch.
The lawsuit has been filed against Facebook’s Irish subsidiary, which includes all users outside the U.S and Canada, making up 80% of the social media site’s entire user base.
The greatest portion of the 25,000 Facebook users who have joined the class action come from Austria, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, and the U.K.
Among the allegations, Schrems accuses Facebook of working with the U.S. National Security Agency on the PRISM surveillance program,”which mined the personal data of users of Facebook and other web services,” according to Reuters.
Facebook declined to comment on this story.
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