Facebook Inc said on Wednesday it was launching its dating service in 32 European countries after the rollout was delayed earlier this year due to regulatory concerns.
The social media company in February postponed launching Facebook Dating in Europe after concerns were raised by Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), the main regulator in the European Union for a number of the world’s biggest technology firms including Facebook.
The DPC was very concerned about being given a short notice of the launch planned for Feb. 13. It was intimated about it on Feb. 3.
It had also said it was not given documentation regarding data protection impact assessment or decision-making processes that had been undertaken by Facebook.
The DPC said on Thursday it will continue to monitor the dating product as it launches across the European Union this week, adding that Facebook has provided details of changes it has made to the service to take account of the issues raised by the regulator.
“Facebook has provided detailed clarifications on the processing of personal data in the context of the Dating feature,” Graham Doyle, deputy commissioner of the DPC, told Reuters in an email.
Facebook Dating, a dedicated, opt-in space within the Facebook app, was launched in the United States in September last year. It is currently available in 20 other countries.
In a blog post on Wednesday, Kate Orseth, Facebook Dating’s product manager, said users can choose to create a dating profile, and can delete it any time without deleting their Facebook accounts.
The first name and age of users in their dating profiles will be taken from their Facebook profiles and cannot be edited in the dating service, Orseth said, adding that users’ last names will not be displayed and that they can choose whether to share other personal information on their profiles.
(Reporting by Juby Babu and Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill, Subhranshu Sahu and Shinjini Ganguli) ((Juby.Babu@thomsonreuters.com; outside U.S. +91 80 6182 3397;))