A Viennese law student is suing Facebook for up to $488bn, and wants you to join the party

By Paul Bradley Carr , written on August 4, 2014

From The News Desk

Grab a map, because we’re going around the world on this one.

A Viennese privacy activist is suing Facebook’s Irish subsidiary, in Vienna, under California law, over the US company’s alleged participation in the NSA’s global PRISM spy program.

Law360 reports that Max Schrems, a law student and founder of the Europe v. Facebook consumer group is demanding 500 euro in damages per eligible Facebook user.

Dublin-based Facebook Ireland serves as the hub for the site’s international operations, so Schrems is bringing the case on behalf of any of the site’s users outside the U.S. and Canada. However, unlike in a U.S. class action, such suits in Austria require class members to actively join the litigation, according to the statement, which pointed to a website for Facebook users to “assign” their claims to Schrems.
According to Facebook’s own data, 81.7% of the site’s 829m active daily users are outside the US and Canada. So that’s 728,764,000 potential plaintiffs, at 500 euro = 364,382,000,000 euro. Or roughly $488bn in damages -- more than two-and-a-half times Facebook's market cap -- at the current exchange rate.

If you’re outside North American and would like to join the class-action party, you can sign up here.

Here’s the whole lawsuit…