This New Dating App Runs A Criminal Background Check On Your Matches

Is online dating is about to get a whole lot safer?

This New Dating App Runs A Criminal Background Check On Your Matches

by Arianna Chatzidakis |
Published on

While the world of online dating is often fun, it can also be very unsafe. Last year, the UK's National Crime Agency reported a six-fold increase in reports of online dating related rape offences over a 5 year period, and this shows no signs of slowing down. But, a new type of dating app has been created in a bid to help protect people online, and we reckon that this could be a total game-changer.

The app, which is called 'Gatsby', conducts background checks on everybody who signs up by using profile information to search publicly available databases, including criminal records and sex offender registries. Monthly re-scans ensure that profiles are always up-to-date with no new convictions, and anyone with any dirt on their record is banned for life. So, your potential love partners are guaranteed to have a clean background, which is very reassuring.

The aim of this swiping-based mobile dating app is to make people feel safer online because according to the UK's National Crime Agency, there is 'deliberate targeting of online sites and apps by offenders who intend to commit sexual assault.' The agency also stated that the 'number of [sexual assault] reports rose from 33 in 2009 to 184 in 2014. 85% of the victims are women and 15% are men.' This is already a whopping increase, but it's important to note that it's only based on the sexual assaults that have been reported - there's no doubt that a huge number also go unreported.

While apps such as Tinder, Happn and Bumble have put in some measures to try and combat app related sexual offences, there isn't really a way of knowing if the person you're talking to is safe or has good intentions. The premise of Gatsby is to help users feel more secure when forming relationships online.

Joe Penora, Gatsby's CEO and founder, came up with the concept after a female friend told him that a guy she'd met online was so creepy that she wondered if he had a criminal record. He named the app after the protagonist Jay Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby, which tells the story of a mysterious man who threw lavish, exclusive parties. The app is meant to be just as exclusive, due to the fact that it filters out potentially dangerous matches.

Penora was also the brains behind the Facebook app 'Friend Verifier', which used technology to scan friends and friend requests for sex offenders - and considering that it was used over 13 million times, we suspect that his new app will be just as popular. And hopefully, it will help to reduce the number of online dating related sex offences and make us safer online.

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Follow Arianna on Instagram @ariannachatz

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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