Facebook is launching a dating app, fuelling yet more concerns about the amount of data the web giant gathers on users.
The social network’s founder Mark Zuckerberg indicated the feature will allow it to collect more intimate details of those on the site, such as who users have been romancing.
It comes in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal which saw the personal information of 87million users harvested and sold on without many of them even knowing.
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Speaking at his company’s annual conference yesterday in California, Mr Zuckerberg said the new feature will be a place for ‘building real, long-term relationships, not just hook-ups’ – a phrase referring to casual sex.
‘There are 200 million people on Facebook that list themselves as single, so clearly, there’s something to do here,’ he said.
The dating feature will connect users who are not friends on Facebook, instead suggesting events prospective couples should attend together. For this, Facebook analyses activities users have taken part in, gathering yet more information.
Users’ dating profiles will feature a picture, name and age.
Mr Zuckerberg added: ‘I know a lot of you will have questions about this, so I want to be clear that we have designed this with privacy and safety in mind.’ Only those subscribed to the dating section of Facebook will be able to see profiles, he said.
Mr Zuckerberg admitted it had been a ‘tough year’ for Facebook as he pledged to take a ‘broader view’ of the web giant’s responsibilities. The 33-year-old also revealed a ‘clear history’ tool to allow people to delete data that third-party websites and apps hold on them. Last night social media users slammed the dating concept. Paul Fabretti tweeted: ‘The one word that sums up Facebook right now. Monopoly.’
Another sarcastically commented: ‘I’m sure his intentions are totally pure and have nothing to do with harvesting data.’
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Addressing the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Mr Zuckerberg said: ‘We need to make sure this doesn’t happen again.’
But despite cutting a contrite figure when quizzed in front of US Congress last month, Mr Zuckerberg yesterday joked about the evidence session.
On a new feature which lets users view videos with their friends, he said: ‘Let’s say that your friend is testifying before Congress’, adding that some of his friends had come together to watch his appearance.
Meanwhile, Damian Collins, chairman of the digital, culture, media and sports committee, yesterday wrote to Mr Zuckerberg laying out the 40 questions his company had been unable to answer when grilled by MPs.
The Tory also pledged to issue a formal summons to force him to give evidence in Parliament.
© Daily Mail