Class action against Facebook attracts 60,000 users

VIENNA Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:52am EDT

In this photo illustration, a Facebook logo on a computer screen is seen through a magnifying glass held by a woman in Bern May 19, 2012. Picture taken May 19, 2012. REUTERS/Thomas Hodel

In this photo illustration, a Facebook logo on a computer screen is seen through a magnifying glass held by a woman in Bern May 19, 2012. Picture taken May 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Thomas Hodel

VIENNA (Reuters) - An Austrian law student said his class action challenging Facebook for alleged privacy violations had gathered support from 60,000 users and passed its first legal review.

Max Schrems, who already has a case involving the social network pending at the European Court of Justice, is claiming damages of 500 euros ($663) per user from U.S.-listed Facebook. The $195 billion company has 1.32 billion active users.

Schrems said the Vienna Regional Court had ordered Facebook Ireland to respond within four weeks to his claims, which include that the social network aided the U.S. National Security Agency in mining the personal data of Facebook users.

Facebook Ireland, which runs the company's international activities, was not immediately available to comment.

Schrems closed the list of plaintiffs earlier this month after 25,000 people joined the campaign, because his legal team needed to verify and administer each one.

Since then, another 35,000 have registered on www.fbclaim.com to join the class action should it expand later, Schrems said on Thursday.

(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Larry King)