By Emma Dooney
Dating app users will soon be able to conduct background checks on potential dates, following an increase in concern for women’s safety in society.
Match Group, the owner of Tinder as well as a number of dating apps for women over 50, has teamed up with the background checking platform, Garbo, to heighten the security of its US users’ experience. The paid service will debut on Tinder later this year but is likely to be rolled out on all of the company’s dating sites in the future.
The addition will enable users to access public records of information about people before committing to meeting them face-to-face. All users need is a first name and a phone number to run the background check, which will scan for red flags such as ‘arrests, convictions, restraining orders, harassment, and other violent crimes.’
Garbo has since clarified that these checks will not detect charges for drug conviction or traffic tickets unrelated to DUIs.
This is because these charges disproportionately affect people of color in the US, with the imprisonment rate of black Americans for drug charges nearly 6 times that of whites. Studies have also revealed that police officers are more likely to stop black drivers, making them more vulnerable to receiving traffic tickets.
Garbo was founded in 2018 by Kathryn Kosmides to help combat the prevalence of gender-based violence (GBV) in this modern era of dating. Reports of crimes relating to online dating in the UK have risen in the last ten years, with numbers rising by 382% between 2011 and 2016.
Kosmides, who is a survivor of GBV after meeting her abuser on a dating app, believes that her company will empower vulnerable populations by simplifying the background check process. "Before Garbo, abusers were able to hide behind expensive, hard-to-find public records and reports of their violence; now that’s much harder," she said. Rather than relying on external public agencies, users will be able to conduct their own safety research quickly and efficiently.
The cost to download the app has yet to be confirmed, but Match Group has said that they are working to ensure the price is 'accessible to users.'
Emma is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.
Best bubble bath, oils and salts for spa-like bathing in your home
Soak away the day with the best bubble baths and most indulgent bathing potions around
By Fiona McKim •
30 of the best winter coats for women to see you through cold spells in style
Our round-up of the best winter coats has got all styles covered, from timeless trench coats to cozy puffers
By Jess Beech •