CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Utah bill may make online dating apps safer

Mar 3, 2022, 1:00 PM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 11:21 am
Utah lawmakers want to require dating apps to warn their users on dangers of online dating....
Utah lawmakers are working to make dating apps safer. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers are considering a bill to make online dating apps a little safer.

HB352 would require apps warn users about the dangers of online dating. That includes encouraging safe practices and asking users to report when someone has committed a crime, like sexual assault. 

“If I have one person that logs onto that dating website and they see those standards there, and they review them, we might save one person’s life,” Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City said. 

Romero started working on this years ago. She said she was approached two years ago by The Match Group, who own apps Tinder, Hinge, OKCupid and others. But they weren’t able to get something on the books then. 

But this year, she was also approached by the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office on the same issue. 

Darcy Goddard, Chief Policy Advisor at Salt Lake County DA’s Office, told the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee that the apps would also be required to send notifications to users who have been talking with fraudsters. 

“And they’ve been banned from the website after engaging in some sort of fraudulent activity where they’re trying to get money from another user,” Goddard said. 

Apps would also be required to ban users who are involved in criminal cases for crimes like fraud or sexual assaults.

Utah lawmakers gave the bill unanimous support in the House, with no votes against. 

Related: Bill would create exemptions under stalking laws, concerns raised

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