A last minute visit by officers from the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) has forced Fcaebook to postpone the launch of its new dating feature for the European market.
Information about the launch of the feature was provided to the DPC just 10 days before the scheduled launch and the regulator said that “no information or documentation was provided to us”.
“We were very concerned that this was the first that we’d heard,” it said.
The DPC said during its inspection at Facebook’s European Union headquarters in Dublin, the regulator had gathered some documents from the company about the new feature.
This measure by the DPC also means that Facebook’s new feature will not be launched in the United Kingdom as it is still bound by the EU laws during the transition period which will last all throughout the current year.
The necessary paper work for the new launch had been completed by it and had also shared the details of the new feature when it was asked to, Facebook said.
“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,” a representative of the largest social media company of the world said.
“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 [regulator] when it was requested.”
Facebook has nit announced any fresh date for the launch.
The new dating feature, which is a part of the existing Facebook phone app, is called Facebook Dating and was launched in the United States in September last year.
The data of a user of Facebook is used to show his or her common friends as well the user’s interests on their dating profile and it is being touted to be a rival for the popular dating app Tinder.
Facebook Dating also allows users to pull in posts from Instagram which is a social media platform that is also owned by Facebook. The users’ profile can also be built by other dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble by using the Facebook login features.
The company said that it had made special efforts to ensure safety, security and privacy of its users because it already had a lot of information about the lives of people or its users.
However the dating messaging service cannot be used for sending photos, videos, and links as is possible through the Facebook’s Messenger feature. This feature can only be accessed by Facebook users over 18 years if age and the company does not try to match users with their existing Facebook friends unless a users specifically asks for it.
It has only been about six months that the social media company has launched this feature in a few selected markets with the aim of eating into some of the dating market share from the likes of Tinder and Bumble – each of which boasts of having of millions of users.
(Adapted form BBC.com)