“You can upload any pictures you want to and any person’s name,” said Youther. “You’ll never really know who you’re talking to. It’s crazy. I wish there were restrictions and a verification process.”
“In separate letters Thursday to the companies, the subcommittee is seeking information on users’ ages, procedures for verifying ages, and any complaints about assaults, rape or the use of the services by minors,” reports AP News.
While these apps can be riddled with uncertainties, not all experiences are unsafe. Most dating apps allow users to decide how much info is on their profile. The site’s algorithms use this information to match individuals.
Dr. Ana Alves-Shippey, an associate professor of political science, met her husband on a dating website. She believes dating services can be a good option when used properly.
“Everyone around me was either married or in undergrad, and I didn’t want to meet someone at a bar. Technology was right there,” said Alves-Shippey. “After one or two weeks of being on the site, we matched and started talking. We met a few days later. Here we are — married and with the cutest baby ever.”
However, some users believes the lack of security features on these apps allows for individuals with ill-intentions to create fake profiles and match with others.
“The police told me to change my phone number and delete my social media accounts,” said a Lee student who had a dangerous dating app experience. “I went dark on social media for three months. It really opened up my eyes to how you can’t know a person through what they tell you.”
The House has sent letters to challenge the process of how companies decide which crimes will not allow users to participate in the app. Services like Tinder currently do not screen for registered sex offenders and other dangers.
“Tinder is particularly tricky because it is a photo, which you don’t even know if that is the real person … Should [appearance] really be the first criteria?” said Shippey. “You can find other apps that explain more about the person than just looks. Be a conscientious user. It is the developers’ responsibilities, but you also have the power to choose to be on the app.”
In response to the investigations of safety concerns, Match Group has partnered with Noonlight, a safety platform and mobile app, to help users share their location during dates so they can alert emergency respondents.
“As a company, we’ve made great strides in building technology that our users can use to have a safer experience,” stated Mandy Ginsberg, a Match Group chief executive.
For more information on the inquiry, click here.