Tinder will start rolling out an ID Verification feature in its popular hookup app. ID Verification relies on a government-issued piece of paper, like a passport or driver’s license, for proof of identity. The feature has been in use on Tinder in Japan since 2019, and it’s now rolling out globally, though it’s not yet a requirement for using the platform.
ID Verification will be voluntary at first, except for where required by law. Then, Tinder will take a “test-and-learn” approach to ensure that its ID Verification process contributes to an “equitable, inclusive and privacy-friendly” app. “We hope all our members worldwide will see the benefits of interacting with people who have gone through our ID verification process,” said Rory Kozoll, Tinder’s Head of Trust & Safety Product, in the official press release. “We look forward to a day when as many people as possible are verified on Tinder.”
Whether you’re looking for a hookup or something long-term, online dating has always required extra precaution. You never know who is on the other end. At least if an app or service offers an official ID Verification process, you know the person is real enough that they have a government-issued piece of paper. Other dating and hookup apps, like Bumble, Zoosk, and Wild, only require a photo for signing up. ID Verification can also help cut down on scammers on the Tinder platform, which saw an increase in complaints during the pandemic.
Tinder emphasizes the focus on safety, adding that it’s aware that requiring identification might be an issue for those who don’t immediately want to reveal themselves online. “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,” said Tracey Breeden, VP of Safety and Social Advocacy at Match Group at Tinder.
Tinder has implemented a heap of security features in the last two years in an attempt to present itself as a safe place to play, including a panic button. The ID Verification feature comes months after Tinder announced it would allow users to run background checks, though that feature isn’t yet live.
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It’s unclear if ID Verification will become a requirement down the line. But for now, it might be the best way to determine if the profile you’re swiping right on is someone worth pursuing.
Correction, 8/17/21, 2:30 p.m.: An earlier version of this story stated Bumble, Zoosk, and Wild all require ID verification. They only require photo identification. We regret the error.