Facebook Ireland has postponed the roll-out of a new dating feature on its platform in the European Union, which had been due to start tomorrow.

The move comes after officers from the Irish Data Protection Commission (IDPC) carried out an inspection at the social media company's Dublin offices last Monday in order to gather documentation on the plans.

A statement from the Data Protection Commission said the watchdog had been "very concerned" that it had not been told about the new feature until 3 February.

"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," the commission said.

The watchdog said Facebook Ireland had told it last night about the postponement of the roll-out of the dating feature, which was launched in the United States in September.

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According to Facebook in accordance with GDPR, it completed the data processing impact assessment ahead of the proposed launch, which it says it shared with the IDPC when requested.

In a statement, Facebook said: "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 have worked carefully to create strong privacy safeguards, and have shared this information with the IDPC ahead of the European roll out."

The new services allow users to integrate their Instagram accounts with Facebook Dating.

The Data Protection Commission in Ireland is the main regulator in the EU for a number of the world's biggest technology firms, including Facebook.