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Facebook delays Europe launch of dating feature

Facebook has delayed the Europe launch of its new Dating feature.

The Irish Data Protection Commission revealed the social media platform has postponed the release of the feature - which was set to be unveiled on Valentine's Day (02.14.20) - over privacy concerns about the service.

The Irish privacy regulator says Facebook's Ireland office only informed the agency of the plans on February 3, which caused concerns about whether the feature would comply with the European Union's data protection rules.

Under those rules, companies starting a new project which could have a "high risk" to users' personal information must carry out a DPIA - data protection impact assessment - in which they outline what they can do to address potential privacy risks.

The IDP insisted Facebook didn't provide them with any information or documentation about the assessment.

In a statement, a Facebook spokeswoman told CNET: "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."

She added that information about the safeguards were shared with the Irish regulator, but wouldn't say when Facebook Dating will launch in Europe, or why the IDP wasn't given more notice of the planned Valentine's Day release.

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