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CJEU advocate general’s opinion states Mr Schrems may sue Facebook Ireland before the Austrian courts

Advocate General Michal Bobek, in his non-binding opinion, proposes that the Court of Justice answer the Oberster Gerichtshof (Supreme Court of Austria) that Mr Schrems may sue Facebook Ireland through an Austrian court, but that the case should remain limited to his own personal claim and cannot involve claims assigned to him by other consumers.

The opinion follows a request for a preliminary ruling from the Oberster Gerichtshof on two issues: the concept of consumers and the jurisdiction over assigned claims. (Case C-498/16 — Schrems).

Mr Schrems started legal proceedings against Facebook Ireland before a court in Austria. He alleged that the company has infringed his privacy and data protection rights. Other Facebook users assigned their claims for allegations of the same infringements to him.

Facebook Ireland challenged the international jurisdiction of the Austrian court, alleging Mr Schrems could not be regarded as a consumer due to his professional activities as a privacy campaigner and therefore could not benefit from the consumer privilege of suing in his own place of domicile, nor could additional claims be assigned to him.

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