The rollout of Facebook Dating has been delayed to an unknown date after privacy regulators raised concerns about their data compliance.
Even though romantics in the U.S. have had access to the app’s dating feature for the past six months, Europeans looking for love will have to wait a little longer to meet their potential soulmates.
Facebook Dating, the company’s in-app dating feature, was initially set to be launched on February 13, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Facebook Dating has been lauded as the next big think in the online dating market and an alternative to popular apps such as Tinder, Match.com and Bumble. It is operating in more than twenty countries but the huge European market would be a gamechanger for the app.
Privacy regulators have raised concerns over whether Facebook Dating is compliant with GDPR, which give people more control over their personal data and regulate how much access companies have to it.
According to a statement from the Irish Data Protection Commission, who has jurisdiction because Facebook’s European headquarters in Dublin, Facebook failed to tell privacy regulators about their timeline for releasing Facebook Dating until 10 days before its scheduled launch.
Irish regulators said Facebook didn’t submit the necessary documents, including data protection impact assessments, about Facebook Dating’s privacy practices.
According to the commission, Inspectors visited Facebook’s Dublin offices to try to obtain the proper information.
They said: “We were very concerned that [February 3] was the first that we’d heard from Facebook Ireland about this new feature.
“Facebook Ireland informed us last night that they have postponed the roll-out of this feature.”
A Facebook spokesperson said had complied with GDPR and privacy regulators’ requests.
“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.”