The general rule of jurisdiction in Article 2 of the Brussels I Regulation is that "persons domiciled in a Member State shall, whatever their nationality, be sued in the courts of that Member State". However, "in matters relating to tort, delict or quasi-delict," one may be alternatively sued "in the courts for the place where the harmful event occurred or may occur".
Locating such "place" has not always been an easy task when it comes to unregistered rights such as personality rights or copyright. Indeed, even the Court of Justice of the European Union has struggled with the interpretation of Article 5(3) Brussels I/Article 7(2) Brussels I Recast, and has adopted a number of different criteria.
When an unregistered right has been allegedly infringed online, what court is competent to hear and decide the resulting case?
Italy's data privacy watchdog said Google Inc had agreed to it conducting inspections at its Californian headquarters, the first time a European Union regulator will make checks on the company inside U.S. territory.
Friday's announcement represents the latest privacy challenge for the company in the EU and underscores the willingness of the 28-member bloc to ensure its citizens' data are treated according to EU law, even when held in foreign jurisdictions.
Google has been under investigation by several EU data protection authorities (DPAs) since it consolidated some 70 existing privacy policies into one in March 2012, combining data collected on individual users across its services, including YouTube, Gmail and social network Google+.
A Paris court has ruled that it has the legal authority to judge a case against Facebook, which blocked the account of a French teacher who posted an image of a vulva.
The court ruled that the case came under its jurisdiction and Facebook’s clause forcing all users to agree that any litigation must be based in California, where the site is based, was “abusive”.
Facebook is being sued by a French man whose account was blocked after he posted a 19th-century picture by Gustave Courbet, The Origin of the World, depicting a vulva.
A court in Austria will rule in the next few weeks whether it has the jurisdiction to hear a class action lawsuit brought against Facebook. Some 25,000 users - led by Austrian law graduate Max Schrems - accuse Facebook of violating European privacy laws in the way it collects and forwards data.
On 13 May the Belgian Privacy Commission adopted a first recommendation on Facebook. The document establishes that the Belgian Privacy Commission is competent and that Facebook disregards European and Belgian privacy legislation in several ways.
A court in Vienna declines to hear a legal case involving allegations that Facebook has broken EU data privacy laws. The court rejected the case brought by Max Schrems saying that it lacked jurisdiction in the matter.