A World of Law Students in the News: Law Student Takes on Facebook

Max Schrems wasn’t sure what he would get when he asked Facebook to send him a record of his personal data from three years of using the site. What the 24-year-old Austrian law student didn’t expect, though, was 1,222 pages of data on a CD. It included chats he had deleted more than a year ago, “pokes” dating back to 2008, invitations to which he had never responded, let alone attended, and hundreds of other details.

One of Schrems’ main complaints with Facebook, he says, is that company retains information far longer than allowed under European law, which in most cases is limited to a few months. That issue has been the basis for several of the 22 formal complaints that Schrems and his group have lodged with the Irish Data Protection Commissioner – responsible for Facebook’s Ireland-based European subsidiary, which serves all users outside of the U.S. and Canada.

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