“We have been pursuing this for more than a year with Facebook, but the company has done only about 10 percent of what we had asked them to do,” said Schrems, 25. “Therefore, we are preparing to go to court.”
Two Facebook spokeswomen did not immediately respond to email requests for comment.
Schrems’ group, which he said is made up of about 10 students at the University of Vienna, filed 22 complaints in 2010 with the Office of the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, which is the European regulator responsible for Facebook.
As a result of those complaints, the regulator conducted a public audit of Facebook’s privacy policies. In September, it announced an agreement with the company that, among other changes, required Facebook to shorten how long it retains consumer data, and to refrain from building a photo archive on individuals without their consent.
But Schrems, in an interview, said Facebook was still violating European law in many areas, including a requirement that Facebook provide users upon request with a full copy of all the data the company has collected on them. Schrems, a Facebook user since 2007, said he requested his own summary file from Facebook in 2010.
“It is basically a collection of American legalese, which is intentionally vague and gives the company adequate leeway to do basically anything they want with your data,” Schrems said.