Facebook Dating roll-out in Europe shelved for now because of data regulatory issues

Anne Freier | February 19, 2020

App Business

Facebook has had to pull back the launch of its dating service in Europe after the social network failed to disclose its intention to the EU data regulations agency.

According to the Independent.ie newspaper, the Irish Data Protection Commission which is in charge of enforcing the data protection act only got wind of the dating service roll-out one day before its official launch.

It’s a bit of a disaster for Facebook and to some demonstrates a level of carelessness.

According to a statement issued by the agency:

“Facebook Ireland first contacted the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) in relation to its intention to roll-out a new Dating feature in the EU on Monday 3 February. We were very concerned that this was the first that we’d heard from Facebook Ireland about this new feature, considering that it was their intention to roll it out tomorrow, 13 February. Our concerns were further compounded by the fact that no information/documentation was provided to us on 3 February in relation to the Data Protection Impact Assessment or the decision-making processes that were undertaken by Facebook Ireland.”

The plan was originally announced back in 2018 and initial tests had been run in Colombia.

As the statement suggests, Facebook has postponed the release for now, but it’s not clear when the dating feature will now roll out across Europe.

A spokesperson from Facebook told TechCrunch:

“It’s really important that we get the launch of Facebook Dating right so we are taking a bit more time to make sure the product is ready for the European market. We worked carefully to create strong privacy safeguards, and complete the data processing impact assessment ahead of the proposed launch in Europe, which we shared with the IDPC when it was requested.”

As of right now, the regulatory body is still waiting for information from Facebook on the launch.

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