Facebook Dating’s European Launch Delayed Due to GDPR Concerns

European Facebook users will have to wait to use the social media giant’s dating service due to new concerns that the company is not adhering to European privacy laws.

Facebook Dating was reportedly scheduled to be launched in Europe on 13th February.

However, private regulators in Ireland, where Facebook’s EU offices are located, said they were not told about the release until ten days prior. They also said they had not received the paperwork proving Facebook had complied with European privacy law.

According to the BBC, a Facebook representative said in response to the claims: “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.

“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.”

The concerns have arisen as Facebook has been accused of misuse of private information before, and the new dating feature pulls data from social media profiles to suggest partners.  It also contains the Secret Crush feature which allows users to list up to nine friends whom they secretly fancy.

Facebook says it has implemented proper privacy features. Facebook Dating will only be available to over-18s and users won’t be able to send videos, photos or links through its messaging service.

Some commentators have suggested that Facebook is using the dating feature as a way of encouraging younger users to stay with the platform. A significant number of millennials have moved onto other social networks in recent years.

Facebook first launched its dating service in Columbia, followed by Canada and Thailand in November 2018 and was only released in the US in September last year.

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