Tech & The Web

Dating App Tinder to Offer Background Checks Option

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If you wonder what kind of people you’d meet on a dating app, one of them is adding background checks for potential dates.

Tinder will be the first online dating app under the Match umbrella to introduce background checks, c|net reported this week.

Well, that’s a disturbing thought!

It will integrate a female-founded nonprofit background check platform named Garbo later this year. Garbo, according to its website, sets out to “proactively prevent gender-based violence in the digital age.”

The c|net report goes on to say Garbo collects public records and reports of violence or abuse. That’s certainly information you’d want to know about a prospective mate. But, it says, Garbo excludes drug possession and traffic violation arrest records because they “disproportionally affect marginalized group.”

Well, if I were going to go on a date with someone, I’d want to know of any arrests. If some categories may be disproportionately high with my prospective date’s ethnic group, tell me that, too.

But if something’s there, they shouldn’t hide it.

We live in an information age. So we know more information about us than ever before sits out there. I just wonder how an algorithm can judge which crimes or arrests are worth reporting because of racial bias versus which ones might be legitimate.

Beyond that, I have to wonder about the circumstances of these “dates.” If you’re meeting somewhere like a restaurant or coffee shop, why would you need their arrest records?

It makes me wonder if some of these people aren’t out to find a date but a hookup.

More power to them if that’s the case. But in this day and age — for more and more reasons — that seems like a particularly unsafe idea, background check or not.

Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.