Millions of Facebook Dating fans expecting to see the official roll out of the service this Friday in Europe may have to bury the thoughts at least for now. This based on the fact that the social media giant has put on hold all plans to launch the service following inspection carried out in the company’s offices in Dublin.
Officials from the Irish data regulator said it carried out a search of Facebook’s head office in Dublin earlier in the week after only learning last week that the social media giant was planning to launch Facebook Dating on the eve of this year’s Valentine’s Day.
“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 [today], 13 February,” the Irish Data Protection Commission said in its statement per CNN.
The Irish regulator said the social media giant failed to provide it with data protection assessment of the dating service when it first made its intention known on February 3.
“In order to expedite the procurement of the relevant documentation, authorized officers of the DPC conducted an inspection at Facebook Ireland … and gathered documentation,” a statement read.
In a statement reacting to the development, Facebook said per CNN:
“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,” Facebook added. “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.”
Facebook Dating was first launched in Colombia. This was followed one year after with the US launch—where users 18 years and older will be able use the service by tapping a new tab which will appear within Facebook mobile app.
The US launch brings the number of countries where the service can be accessed to 20. These include Brazil, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Guyana, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Suriname, Thailand, Uruguay, Vietnam, and the US. The European launch would have brought the service to people in that part of the world for the first time after two years since Facebook Dating was first launched.
Of course, the last may not have been heard of the suspension as we expect further developments in the days and maybe weeks ahead.