Tinder is planning to introduce profile verification through government ID for users across the globe. This is a step towards reducing fake profiles and abuse on the platform.
The feature will be voluntary to use — unless the country you live in mandates it — and it’ll roll out in the “coming quarters.” The company said that with ID verification it wants users to give “more confidence that their matches are authentic.”
Tinder first rolled out this feature in Japan in 2019, where the local rule makes it mandatory to verify if you’re an adult aged 18 or above.
The dating app already has a verification process called Photo Verification that asks you to pose in a certain way, and take a selfie. Once you do that, you get a blue checkmark on your profile. The government ID verification will also give you a badge, but it’s not clear if it’ll live along with the blue tickmark.
A report from The Verge noted that the company will consult local experts in different countries to figure out the privacy implications of documents used for verification. Plus, there’s a question of the safety of LGBTQ+ community members using government ID in countries where homosexuality is considered against the law.
Tinder said that it’s taking the help of experts to create a safer verification system:
We know that in many parts of the world and within traditionally marginalized communities, people might have compelling reasons that they can’t or don’t want to share their real-world identity with an online platform. Creating a truly equitable solution for ID Verification is a challenging, but critical safety project and we are looking to our communities as well as experts to help inform our approach.
In March, Tinder’s owner, Match Group, said it is planning to partner with background-checking company Garbo for improving the safety of users. However, there’s a chance that this background check might be a feature behind the paywall.
For the Match group, these features are also ways to reduce fraud. A report by the Federal Trade Commission noted that in 2020, online dating scams breached the $300 million mark. That’s some serious money.
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