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Facebook Dating postponed in Europe over GDPR compliance


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In brief: It appears that Facebook will have to postpone the European launch of its dating service. Facebook Dating was set to go live in the EU on Thursday, the day before Valentines's Day. However, regulators in Ireland showed it no love by pointing out that it had not filed the proper paperwork in time.

Ireland's Data Protection Commission (IDPC) threw a wrench in the social media giant's plans to import its Facebook Dating service to the European Union. The Wall Street Journal notes, the commission claims that it did not receive a data processing impact assessment (DPIA) until yesterday. A DPIA is required under the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).


After inspectors from the IDPC visited Facebook's Dublin-based European headquarters last week, the company decided to put its plans on hold indefinitely. It notified Irish officials on Wednesday of the cancellation of the rollout. In a statement, Facebook said it wanted to be sure it was in compliance with the GDPR.

"We are taking a bit more time to make sure the product is ready for the European market. We have worked carefully to create strong privacy safeguards, and have shared this information with the IDPC ahead of the European rollout."


The spokesperson also said the company had completed and submitted the DPIA. According to IDPC Deputy Commissioner Graham Doyle, this paperwork was requested last week. Facebook turned in the assessment only a day before the intended launch, which is not enough time for review.


"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, February 13th," said Doyle.


Facebook initially announced plans for the dating service at its 2018 F8 developer conference. It launched last year in the US. People have also been finding love online in 19 other countries, including Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Thailand, and others.



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