In many ways, European attitudes about privacy are considerably more conservative than those in the United States. This has not only shaped basic legal proceedings across the pond, but has also been a source of a contention between EU citizens and tech companies. Facebook, with its checkered past as it relates to privacy, has come under scrutiny for the way it collects and disseminates information about its users, and a class action suit in Europe is gaining momentum that could challenge the social media giant.
On August 21 a Vienna court reviewed a class action lawsuit pending against the Irish branch of Facebook, giving the company four weeks to respond to allegations that it violated its agreement with users through its complacency with U.S. spy activity. The group of plaintiffs—calling themselves Europe v. Facebook after the case — comprises over 25,000 European Facebook users, and is led by Austrian citizen Max Schrems.