BRUSSELS: An Austrian law student and privacy activist cannot bring a class action suit against Facebook's Irish unit in an Austrian court, an EU court adviser said on Tuesday, but can sue the company there on his own behalf.
Claiming violations of privacy by Facebook, Max Schrems is claiming 500 euros (US$576) in damages for each of some 25,000 signatories to his lawsuit, one of a series of European challenges to U.S. technology firms and their handling of personal data.
"A consumer who is entitled to sue his foreign contact partner in his own place of domicile, cannot invoke, at the same time as his own claims, claims on the same subject assigned by other consumers," the EU top court's Advocate General said on.
While the advocate general's opinion is not binding, it is usually followed by the court.
(Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)