Tinder announced on August 16th that users will be able to verify their identity on the app in the “next few quarters.” This feature was first released in Japan in 2019. Here we have to prove that the user is over 18 years old. Except for places like Japan, which are required by law, identity verification “starts as an optional item,” Tinder wrote in a blog post.
Identity verification can be used free of charge by all users, just like the photo verification function. According to a Tinder spokeswoman, the company will also use identity verification for cross-references with its data in areas where sex offender registries are available. Tinder has already done this identity verification for credit card verification when users sign up for a subscription. According to the Terms of Service, Tinder has “never been convicted or appealed for felony, sexual offenses, or crimes involving violence, and has not been convicted or appealed to users, and has been registered for sex offenders in any state, federation, or region. You don’t even have to register as a sex offender. ”
The current photo verification feature puts a Twitter-like blue checkmark on your user profile, but you can get another badge that stands out when you verify your identity. In this way, the user can know whether the potential dating partner has been identified through photo verification, identity verification, or both.
“Creating a truly fair identity verification method is a challenge, but it’s an essential safety project, and we hope the community and experts can help gather information about our approach.” The company wrote.
Tinder has made continuous investments in safety features, but the effectiveness of identity verification is limited. Confirmation is voluntary, especially because it is the responsibility of the individual to feel comfortable meeting unidentified users. However, in March 2021, Tinder’s parent company, Match Group, invested hundreds of millions of yen in Garbo, a non-profit background check organization. Garbo’s background checks may help detect dating app users with a history of violence and abuse, but it’s still unclear how they will be integrated into Tinder and how much they will cost to use them. is. By the way, Garbo excludes drug possession and minor traffic accidents in order to conduct a “fair background check”, citing the current situation where these crimes are imbalanced on vulnerable people. rice field.
Related article: Match Group invests hundreds of millions of yen in Garbo, a non-profit organization that conducts background checks
Tinder said it wouldn’t use Garbo’s technology to verify its identity, but told TechCrunch that it would provide more information about background checks through Garbo in the fall. Tinder didn’t mention whether access to the information obtained from Garbo would be charged. When investing in Garbo, Match Group said that the price (if this information is provided for a fee) will be determined by user usage, that is, how many users want to use it and how many times they want to search.
It’s a bright topic that Tinder is focusing on safety features, but if it’s offered for a fee, the effect is limited. Match Group’s Columbia Journalism Investigation (CII) and ProPublica surveys in December 2019 show that the company uses Match, a paid service, to eliminate sexual offenders, but Tinder, OkCupid, and Plenty of Fish. He was severely criticized for pointing out that he did not do it with free services such as Fish). “There is no doubt that there are registered sex offenders in our free service,” a spokeswoman for the company said at the time.
In January 2020, Senator Raja Krishnamoorthi (Democratic Party, Illinois) conducted a survey of user safety policies for dating apps, including Match Group, The Meet Group, and Bumble. I sent a letter to (Bumble) and Grindr. “Protection from sex offenders should not be a luxury limited to paying customers,” he said. In February, Congressmen Ann Kuster (New Hampshire, Democratic Party) and Jan Schakowsky (Democratic Party, Illinois) addressed the Match Group with the signatures of nine other members. He sent a letter expressing concern that the Match Group did not cross-reference user reports with the sex offender registry.
Around the same time, Match Group made several moves to step up its investment in user safety. For example, in January 2020, we acquired Noonlight, allowing US users to share who, when, and where they met. In the event of a dangerous situation, the user can start an emergency service without knowing it. Noonlight first contacts the user and calls 911 if necessary (the basic version of Noonlight is free, but $ 5 or $ 10 per month to connect to Apple Watch, Google Home, Alexa, etc.) ) Plan upgrade required). This type of feature can be controversial due to concerns about police intervention, but it may be useful for users seeking peace of mind. However, blocking criminals before registration can reduce the need for such intervention in the first place.
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life’s biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.