Facebook delayed the European launch of its dating service just one day before its planned rollout after privacy officials “conducted an inspection” of the company’s Dublin offices.
The social network had planned on launching Facebook Dating in Europe on Feb. 13 to coincide with Valentine’s Day. But Facebook opted to change its plans after the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), the body responsible for enforcing Europe’s privacy laws, showed up to search its offices.
In a statement, the DPC said that it was “very concerned” Facebook had given them only ten days’ notice of the planned European launch of the service.
“Our concerns were further compounded by the fact that no information/documentation was provided to us on 3 February in relation to the Data Protection Impact Assessment or the decision-making processes that were undertaken by Facebook Ireland.
In order to expedite the procurement of the relevant documentation, authorized officers of the DPC conducted an inspection at Facebook Ireland Limited’s offices in Dublin on Monday last, 10 February and gathered documentation.”
A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the company had delayed the European launch of Facebook Dating. It’s unclear how long Facebook Dating, which became available in the United States in September, will be tied up.
“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,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “We worked carefully to create strong privacy safeguards, and complete the data processing impact assessment ahead of the proposed launch in Europe, which we shared with the IDPC when it was requested.”