Data privacy campaigner Max Schrems has signed up 25,000 people to the legal case alleging that the way the social networking site monitors its members' activity is in breach of European Union (EU) law. Since Mr Schrems launched the campaign, 7,000 users a day from over 100 countries have registered their support but the lawyer stated that he would be restricting it to 25,000 so as to verify each account.
Facebook has been in hot water over its privacy policies in recent years. Earlier in July, the social networking site was subject of a UK investigation by regulators to determine whether it had broke data protection laws following a psychological study. Facebook conducted a test, without user consent, where it would "manipulate" the news feeds of 700,000 users to control the emotional expressions they were exposed to.
The research was conducted to determine whether a person's mood could be affected by the type of information they see on their newsfeed every day. While Facebook believed it would provide an insight into posting behaviours, the Financial Times and The Register quoted the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) as saying that it would be contacting Ireland's data protection regulator over the issue.
Mr Schrems' lawsuit focuses on a series of allegations that Facebook broke EU privacy laws through a number of new additions to its services. The legal case will assess the introduction of Graph Search, allowing users to track other members' activity on the site, external website tracking and big data analysis.
The lawyer is looking to receive €500 (£396) in damages for each of the 25,000 members signed up, should he win the case.
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Schrems said: "It is not an epic fight with Facebook but more of a general question of where we are going and if we respect our fundamental rights in Europe."
Find up to date information on the FTSE 100 and spread betting strategies at City Index
StoneX Financial Ltd (trading as “City Index”) is an execution-only service provider. This material, whether or not it states any opinions, is for general information purposes only and it does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. This material has been prepared using the thoughts and opinions of the author and these may change. However, City Index does not plan to provide further updates to any material once published and it is not under any obligation to keep this material up to date. This material is short term in nature and may only relate to facts and circumstances existing at a specific time or day. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment, legal, tax or other advice and no reliance should be placed on it.
No opinion given in this material constitutes a recommendation by City Index or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. The material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research. Although City Index is not specifically prevented from dealing before providing this material, City Index does not seek to take advantage of the material prior to its dissemination. This material is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.