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Class action suit against Facebook dismissed by Austrian court

The class action suit against Facebook, fronted by Max Schrems, was dismissed by the Austrian court saying that it has no jurisdiction over the case.

Schrems, filed the suit against Facebook in the Vienna Commercial Court, which referred the case to the Vienna Regional Court

The dismissal of this case is a major blow to the Europe-v-Facebook, the privacy campaign group in which 25,000 Facebook users had assigned the claims against the company.

The suit accused Facebook Ireland of violating the European data protection laws with its privacy policy and how it gathers and uses personal data. Note that Facebook Ireland is responsible for processing the data of Facebook users who are outside the U.S. and Canada.

The case was then dismissed by the Vienna Regional Court on the grounds that they have no jurisdiction over the case. The entire case itself creates geographical complexity, because an Austrian suing an Irish subsidiary of a U.S. company, with supporters who have many nationalities.

But the court clarified that the case wasn’t dismissed due to national borders. It was dismissed due to the fact that Schrems is not a consumer.

A court spokeswoman said on Wednesday that Schrems used one of his Facebook accounts for professional reasons before he filed the suit. So, he cannot rely on the consumer law, and because of that, the court cannot accept the claim.

A Facebook spokesperson said via email that Facebook wants to settle all such litigations in Ireland, “This litigation was unnecessary and we’re pleased that the court has roundly rejected these claims. We remain happy to work with our regulator, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, to address any questions about our commitment to protecting people’s information.”