In violation of European data protection law
An Austrian student group dubbing itself ‘Europe-v-Facebook’ feels that privacy laws have been broken. The group intends to take legal action against Facebook and is in need of financing. Is it possible that the group will use Facebook to help fund the suit? Possibly, as it turns out “Europe-v-Facebook’ is turning to crowd-funding as a means to finance its court case.
The students believe the company is in violation of European data protection law. Europe-v-Facebook is in the initial stages of planning for court, and the company predicts that the cost of the case could have a potential range between 100,000 GBP and 300,000 GBP. That equates to between $160,000 and $ 500,000 US dollars.
European data laws
This is the definition of the data protection act:
Personal data is defined in the Data Protection Act, as follows:
“data which relate to a living individual who can be identified:
from those data; or from those data and other information which is in the possession of, or is likely to come into the possession of, the data controller and includes any expression of opinion about the individual and any indication of the intentions of the data controller or any other person in respect of the individual“.
The act contains eight “Data Protection Principles”. These specify that personal data must be:
1. Processed fairly and lawfully.
2. Obtained for specified and lawful purposes.
3. Adequate, relevant and not excessive.
4. Accurate and up to date.
5. Not kept any longer than necessary.
6. Processed in accordance with the “data subject’s” (the individual’s) rights.
7. Securely kept.
8. Not transferred to any other country without adequate protection.
The Data Protection Act of 1998 is mandatory. It is essential companies fully comply with it… not just to avoid prosecution and bad publicity, but to demonstrate to customers that companies operate with due diligence and responsibility.
It is very important to note that a breach of the act can and has led to claims for compensation. Since ‘Europe-v-Facebook’ has no access to legal aid, the group hopes to finance its battle using contributions from online supporters.