Facebook must stop processing privacy activist Max Schrems’ data and give him insight into this data. In addition, the platform must pay compensation of five hundred euros. Still, Schrems says he does not agree with the decision and will appeal.
According to the judge of the Vienna Supreme Court, Facebook must give Schrems insight into all data that Schrems’s company has. The judge specifically mentions profile information, what he has liked on the platform in the past and what he has responded to, photos and videos that he posted, but also personal messages and other matters. Facebook must also stop processing this data, unless Schrems gives explicit permission for this.
Noyb , a privacy organization that Schrems founded, states that Facebook previously did not want to release all the data it had collected about Schrems. According to noyb, this data is transferred to which parties Facebook has sent Schrems’ data and vice versa. Schrems claims that the uncertainty about which parties have access to his data caused emotional suffering and therefore demanded five hundred euros. The judge finds that this inconvenience has been proven and that the amount stated is justified.
In his complaint, however, Schrems also claimed that Facebook does not have permission to collect data from users, as is necessary under the GDPR. Schrems argues that Facebook unlawfully claims to be allowed to process the data of users if they accept Facebook’s general terms and conditions. The Facebook users would enter into a contract with the platform under these conditions, whereby the users can use the platform for free in exchange for a ‘personalized platform’, which requires the user’s data.
The judge states that this contract is clearly and clearly explained in the general terms and conditions. This contract would therefore not be illegal. Facebook could use the collected data to generate revenue, with which it can maintain the platform and make a profit, the judge said. According to the statement, it is therefore ‘necessary’ to process the data, as is intended within the context of the GDPR.
Schrems says to noyb that the judge did not look closely enough in the judgment at the problems that could arise as a result of this judgment. He states that this ruling ensures that Facebook can ‘bypass’ parts of the GDPR and that European Facebook users therefore miss certain protections. The privacy activist is appealing to the Austrian Supreme Court.
The decision of the Vienna Supreme Court comes from an appeal that Schrems lodged earlier this year. In July, a Viennese judge also ruled that Facebook had to pay five hundred euros in damages and Schrems had to provide insight into his data. The Austrian started this Austrian case in 2014, when he still hoped to turn it into a class-action case . Three years later, an advocate general of the European Court of Justice advised that Schrems should not make a collective case out of this . Schrems, therefore, decided to sue Facebook on his own.