ARS Technica tells the story of Max Schrems, a law student seeking to make Facebook get serious about privacy. His quest began in spring 2011 as part of an academic assignment that morphed into an advocacy organization called "Europe vs Facebook". Schrems is intend on turning the screws on Facebook, and is urging everyone to request copies of whatever data Facebook holds on each of them, as he has done. When Schrems e-mailed Facebook with his formal "personal data request" on June 2, 2011, the social networking initially send over a small file containing some of Schrems'' personal data, but when pressed Facebook eventually mailed Schrems a CD containing a PDF of more than 1,000 pages of raw private data concerning Schrems' Facebook activity. Full details at ARS Technica.
The world’s largest legal battle against Facebook began with a class assignment. Student Max Schrems still hasn’t turned in his university paper on the topic, due well over a year ago, but he has already accomplished something bigger: forcing Facebook to alter its approach to user privacy. Now, Schrems wants cash—hundreds of thousands of euros—to launch the next phase of his campaign, a multi-year legal battle that might significantly redefine how Facebook controls the personal data on over one billion people worldwide.
"If we get €300,000 ($384,000), we can shoot from all cannons," the 25-year-old told Ars from his parents’ home in Salzburg, Austria.