Facebook has been forced to postpone the launch of its dating service in Europe after a regulator in Ireland raised data protection concerns, The Wall Street Journal reports. Under EU rules, companies have to conduct a data processing impact assessment (DPIA) before launching a product or service that could impact their customers’ data. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission said that Facebook had intended to launch Facebook Dating today, the day before Valentine’s Day, but said that it was “very concerned” to have learned about it so late. Facebook says it informed the regulator about the launch on February 3rd.
Facebook Dating launched in the US last year and is currently available in 20 countries around the world. The service draws upon data in your existing Facebook account to let you quickly create a dating profile, and you can also integrate photos from your Instagram account. You can then choose to match with potential dates among your friends of friends or opt to meet people completely outside of your network of friends.
In a statement given to the WSJ, Facebook said that it is “taking a bit more time to make sure the product is ready for the European market.” It added that it has “worked carefully to create strong privacy safeguards, and have shared this information with the IDPC ahead of the European roll out.” Facebook says it completed the required data privacy assessment and shared it with the regulator when asked. Bad luck, Europe. Looks like Facebook won’t have a Valentine’s Day date for you just yet.
Correction: This article originally said that Facebook didn’t inform the regulator about the launch of Facebook Dating until February 12th. Facebook says it informed the regulator on February 3rd. We regret the error.