Does Facebook illegally process the personal data of its users?

The Austrian Supreme Court has agreed to send a series of questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), at the request of activist Max Schrems, president of the None of your busines (Noyb) association specializing in the defense of digital rights.

A questioning of the legal basis

On what basis does Facebook rely to justify the processing of the very large personal data of users of the social network, wonders the activist. Before the General Data Protection Regulation (RGDP) in May 2018, the American giant replied that Internet users had themselves consented to the use of their information.

However, since the entry into force of this text, the social network claims a contract formed with Facebook services which are now offered in return for the processing of users’ personal data, explains the media. Euractiv. It is this argument that the activist questions. “Almost all of the data uses that Facebook makes profits with in the EU are based on this bypass“, he explains.

Facebook’s use of advertising data

The European judge will also have to address the following issue: is the use of personal data from other sources, such as advertising, compatible with the principle of data minimization? This provides that the data must be adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary for the purposes for which they are processed. If it considers such use to be illegal, “Facebook could then no longer be allowed to use all the data for advertising purposes, even if the consent is valid.“, adds the Austrian activist.

If Facebook is condemned by the CJEU, “He will not only have to stop misusing data and delete illegally collected data, but also pay damages to millions of users.“, rejoiced Max Schrems. Note that it will surely be necessary to wait several months or even years before this procedure is successful.

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