When Facebook Dating is coming to the UK - and why there are privacy concerns

Facebook's dating site was due to launch a day before valentines day 2020, but on Thursday 13 February, the EU pulled the plug on it due to serious data protection concerns.

The social media giant failed to pass Irish data security regulations by not submitting adequate documentation.

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Given that Facebook's EU headquarters is in Dublin, the Irish authority upholds the regulation of its EU-data privacy laws for the whole of the European Union.

In a statement online, the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) said: "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, 13 February [sic]."

The DPC said it had been told about the feature just 10 days ahead of the planned launch and "no information or documentation was provided to us".

Facebook later informed the Irish authority that is was halting the roll-out of its new app until it was able to supply the information required.

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When will Facebook Dating arrive in the UK?

Since the UK is still bound by EU laws and regulations during the Brexit transition period, the launch of the app will be impacted.

Facebook claims it has provided the necessary paperwork, and said in a statement: "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 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 DPC when it was requested."

Despite EU scrutiny, Facebook was able to quietly launch Hobbi - its rival to Pinterest.

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The app allows users to share and collate photographs, as well as track photographers and collections over time.

It is already available for iOS in Colombia, Spain, Ukraine, and Belgium and soon it may arrive in the UK.

What is Facebook Dating?

Like dating platforms Tinder and Bumble, users of Facebook Dating will upload photographs and bios to match up with that special someone.

However, both Tinder and Bumble use Facebook accounts as a login feature.

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Facebook intends to launch its own dating up that could potentially threaten the network on Bumble and Tinder by relocating their users onto its own platform.

The Facebook Dating app will not try to match users with any existing Facebook friends.

Currently we don't know when Facebook will be given the green light to roll out its dating app.

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