Tinder users in the US will soon be able to run background checks on matches

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Ever matched with somebody on Tinder and had that feeling that something just wasn’t quite right? Well soon you could be able to put those suspicions to rest or prove them.

That’s because Match Group – the company that owns Tinder, Match.com, Hinge and other dating services – has made a “significant contribution” to Garbo.

Now what is Garbo?

The service’s website says that Garbo is a “new consumer online background check platform” that allows users of dating sites and ride sharing apps to see whether a person has been arrested convicted or had protection orders filed against them. The background check can reportedly work with very little information in order to give a user a person’s history.

Now, before the cries of privacy infringement come to the fore, we should point out that Garbo makes use of public information. The firm does not include arrests pertaining to drug possession and traffic violations as they have “have a disproportionate impact on marginalized groups”.

“Garbo provides low-cost background checks by collecting public records and reports of violence or abuse, including arrests, convictions, restraining orders, harassment, and other violent crimes. This valuable information, which is typically offered by for-profit companies, has historically been difficult to access and cost prohibitive,” Match Group explained in a press release.

Match Group will now start integrating Garbo’s functionality into Tinder before incorporating it into other platforms. Importantly, this feature is limited to the US, and while it’s good to see gender-based violence being addressed in the region we doubt that this feature will make its way to other parts of the world in the near future.

“For far too long women and marginalized groups in all corners of the world have faced many barriers to resources and safety,” head of safety and social advocacy for Match Group, Tracey Breeden said in a press release.

“We recognize corporations can play a key role in helping remove those barriers with technology and true collaboration rooted in action. In partnership with Match Group, Garbo’s thoughtful and groundbreaking consumer background check will enable and empower users with information, helping create equitable pathways to safer connections and online communities across tech,” added Breeden.

It’s not clear how users will pay for background checks. We’d hope that Tinder would include the functionality in its premium tier subscription Tinder Platinum, but it could serve as an optional extra such as Boosts and other premium features Tinder sells separately.

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.