Facebook suspends European launch of Dating feature over GDPR concerns

David Prior's picture

Facebook has suspended the rollout of its dating service in Europe, which had been planned for yesterday, after privacy regulators raised concerns about its compliance to GDPR legislation.

Ireland's data regulator, the Irish Data Protection Commission, conducted an inspection of Facebook's Dublin offices earlier this week after only learning about its intention to introduce the feature in the EU on February 3rd.

Irish regulators said the tech giant did not submit the necessary documents, including data protection impact assessments, about Facebook Dating's privacy practices.

The regulator said it had "gathered documentation" and had 11 open investigations into Facebook. If found guilty, Facebook could be fined up to 4% of annual global revenue, which would run into hundreds of millions of dollars.

Facebook, which launched Dating in the US in September, said the product would now be delayed for European customers.

In a statement, the company 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.

"We have worked carefully to create strong privacy safeguards, and have shared this information with the IDPC ahead of the European roll out.

"In accordance with GDPR, the data processing impact assessment was completed ahead of the proposed launch, which we shared with the IDPC when it was requested."