Michael Staines
Michael Staines

14.27 13 Feb 2020


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Facebook has said it is “taking a bit more time” before launching its new dating feature after the Data Protection Commission carried out an inspection at its offices.

The tech giant announced the new service in 2018 and launched it in the US last year.

It was due to launch it across the EU today; however, it has postponed its plans after the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) voiced concern.

The regulator, which has responsibility for Facebook because the company’s European headquarters are in Dublin, said it was only informed of the launch last week.

It said Facebook never provided with a Data Protection Impact Assessment or any information on its “decision-making processes.”

Facebook dating Facebook manager Fidji Simo introduces the "Secret Crush" dating function at the F8 developer conference in San Jose, 3-04-2019. Image: Andrej Sokolow/dpa

DPC officers carried out an inspection at Facebook’s Dublin offices on Monday.

In a statement today, Facebook said it is under no legal obligation not notify the regulator about launches or provide it with documentation.

“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,” said a company spokesperson.

“We’re under no legal obligation to notify the IDPC of product launches; however, as a courtesy to the DPC […], we proactively informed them of the proposed launch almost two weeks in advance.

“As we are also not obliged to share documentation, we did not include these, but once requested we shared relevant documentation – including the data processing impact assessment.”

The new feature will allow users to create a dating profile and comment on or “like” the accounts of other users who have opted in.

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


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