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Facebook Dating, whose release was scheduled for Valentine's Day, is postponed for lack of guarantees

“Facebook Dating” was launched in September 2018 in Colombia before being spread to other countries. NICOLAS SIX / QUENTIN HUGON / “THE WORLD”

The European release of Facebook Dating, Facebook's dating service, was scheduled for Thursday, February 13, on the eve of Valentine's Day. The American company finally announced the same day that it was postponing the launch, without advancing a new date.

At the origin of this unexpected report, a clash with the Data Protection Commission (DPC), the Irish gendarme of personal data. With Facebook’s headquarters in Europe based in Dublin, the company should be referred to for questions regarding the privacy of its European products.

However, according to a concise press release published Wednesday by the DPC, Facebook has not provided him with the mandatory documents to attest that the dating service will be compatible with the GDPR, the European regulation for the protection of personal data, which is much more restrictive than American laws.

Read also What happened in a year of GDPR, the law supposed to protect your data?

Very short lead times

The DPC explains that Facebook waited until February 3 to inform it that it intended to launch the “Dating” feature in Europe ten days later. A very short delay, which has “Preoccupied” the DPC. “A concern which was compounded by the fact that no information or documentation was transmitted to us on February 3”, which could have enabled the Commission to examine the measures planned by the social network to protect the data of European Facebook Dating users.

Result: DPC agents went to Facebook's premises in Dublin on Monday February 10 to carry out an inspection, and collected documents there. The next day, the American company announced to the DPC that it was postponing the European deployment of Facebook Dating. “We are taking a little longer to make sure the product is ready for the European market”, A Facebook spokesperson told Agence France-Presse on Thursday.

A service designed for “lasting relationships”

The DPC is, for its part, “Analyzing all the documentation gathered during Tuesday's inspection”, said his communications manager, Graham Doyle, to TechCrunch. “We have asked Facebook more questions and are awaiting their response. “

Launched in September 2018 in Colombia, before being extended to other countries such as the United States in the months that followed, Facebook Dating aims to build “Lasting relationships, not just one night plans”, said company founder Mark Zuckerberg last year. This service, integrated into Facebook, does not require the installation of an additional application. The company has always insisted that the dating profile is separate from the classic profile, in order to avoid embarrassing situations.

Read also Facebook: how will its dating service work

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