Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

17.44 12 Feb 2020


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Facebook has delayed the roll-out of its new dating feature in the EU amid Irish regulators' data protection concerns.

The tech giant announced its dating service in 2018 and launched the feature in the US last year ahead of a planned EU launch in early 2020.

According to the Data Protection Commission here - which regulates Facebook in the EU due to the company's European headquarters being based in Dublin - it was informed by Facebook Ireland on Monday 3rd February of the firm's plans to launch the feature in the EU.

However, the DPC today said in a statement: "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."

DPC officers carried out an inspection at Facebook's offices on Monday and "gathered documentation".

The commission now says they've been told that the roll-out of the dating feature has been postponed.

Facebook Dating features allows users who have opted in to create a dating profile and comment on or 'like' the accounts of non-friends who have opted in.

There's also a 'secret crush' feature, which 'matches' friends or Instagram followers who have selected each others' accounts.

Main image: Facebook manager Fidji Simo introduces the "Secret Crush" dating function at the F8 developer conference. Picture by: Andrej Sokolow/DPA/PA Images

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