One of the world’s leading online dating platforms will soon be rolling out a new ID verification feature. Tinder first introduced ID verification in Japan in 2019, and it will now be bringing the same technology to other parts of the world.
Tinder indicated that it will comply with all local regulations while doing so. That means that ID verification will be mandatory in select jurisdictions with stricter identity laws, though it will be voluntary (at least for the time being) in areas that do not have such requirements in place. In other words, Tinder will be deploying ID verification on a case-by-case basis in different countries, and will refine and consolidate the system over time as it learns more about what is effective and what it needs to do to protect the privacy and personal information of its users.
“ID Verification is complex and nuanced, which is why we are taking a test-and-learn approach to the rollout,” said Tinder Trust and Safety Product Head Rory Kozoll. “We know one of the most valuable things Tinder can do to make members feel safe is to give them more confidence that their matches are authentic. And we hope our members will see the benefits of interacting with people who have gone through our ID verification process.”
Tinder is yet to offer many details about how the ID verification feature will work, likely because the system still seems to be in the early stages of development. The company revealed only that it will gradually launch the system internationally in the next few quarters, and that it will listen to policy and tech experts about best practices for document verification. It will also collect feedback from its users to deliver a product that meets their expectations. In that regard, Tinder noted that many marginalized individuals may not feel comfortable sharing their true identities with potential strangers and a corporate giant like Tinder.
The goal, then, is to let users know that the people they are interacting with are real people, without forcing them to disclose any personal information until they are ready. ID verification would seem to offer a path to that utility, but it remains to be seen how it will work in practice.
The feature is being introduced more than a year after Tinder launched a Photo Verification feature that asked users to submit a selfie to make sure that they matched their profile photos. The Meet Group dating site and the Yubo social media app have both used Yoti’s age verification technology to confirm the ages of people on their platforms.
September 3, 2021 – by Eric Weiss