Schrems had lodged cases in an Austrian court on behalf of seven other users in Austria, Germany and India against Facebook’s Irish division for various alleged rights violations involving personal data.
Facebook had argued that people can only sue as individual consumers, not as groups — and moreover that Schrems’s professional activities on his account meant he was no longer a private consumer in any case.
Read more on The Local.
I am not sure I understand why a class action approach cannot be used. I’ll look for more legal analyses and commentaries and add links to this post, perhaps.
Update: Okay, Courthouse News has additional coverage of the ruling, which apparently, is not in English (yet?). Anyway, they report that the advisor did not find a problem with Shrem using his Facebook account for personal and some professional activity, but the stumbling block was the class action part:
As to the question about the other users, Bobek said “a consumer who is entitled to sue his foreign contact partner in his own place of domicile, cannot invoke, at the same time as his own claims, claims on the same subject assigned by other consumers domiciled in other places.”
“The rules in question clearly show that the jurisdictional consumer privilege is always limited to the concrete and specific parties to the contract,” the press release states.
You can read more on Courthouse News.