Tinder to offer background checks on would-be dates
Tinder, along with its parent company Match Group, is working with a non-profit called Garbo to help customers find out if their potential dating partner has a criminal record.
Why it matters: Most people know very little about the person they have just met online. Garbo allows people to find out whether someone they are interacting with has a criminal record or other court actions, such as a restraining order.
- Match Group expects to have Garbo's service integrated into Tinder later this year, but many of the details have yet to be finalized.
- After that, Match hopes to make Garbo available within its other dating services.
- Match will make a significant "seven-figure" contribution to Garbo, enabling it to hire engineers and rapidly accelerate its national expansion.
"This is an industry first," says Match Group safety head Tracey Breeden. "There have not been any background check options in the dating industry."
Between the lines: Garbo is the brainchild of its CEO Kathryn Kosmides, herself a survivor of gender-based violence.
- Kosmides said the service's reports include details of initial charges, as they often get watered down as part of a plea bargain.
- They exclude drug possession and other charges that tend to be disproportionately enforced against marginalized groups.
- "Our mission is trying to find the balance between protection and privacy," Kosmides said.
The big picture: The move by Match part of a broader effort by the dating company to rethink safety across its services.
- Late last year, Match partnered with the Rape and Incest National Network (RAINN) to audit the company's assault prevention systems.
- It also hired Breeden, a law enforcement and Uber veteran, as its first head of safety and social advocacy.
Editor's note: This story was corrected to show Kosmides is a survivor of gender-based violence.