POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Bill seeks to make dating apps safer for users

Dec 23, 2022, 1:00 PM

dating app tinder is pictured on phone screen, new bill looks at safety features...

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 14: In this photo illustration, the dating app Tinder is seen on the screen of an iPhone on August 14, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Photo illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill aimed at putting warnings and safety tips on online dating apps will return to Utah’s Capitol Hill this winter. 

Newly elected House Minority Leader Rep. Angela Romero is running the bill.

Romero wants to require pop-up warnings on sites like Match, Tinder and Grindr.

The pop-ups would give safety tips advising users to meet people in a public place, tell someone where they’re going and not to share their last name or address right away.

“These are some safety tips you should take before meeting someone you have never met before in person,” Romero said.

Sites would also have to warn you not to give anyone money, as often perpetrators prey on vulnerable victims. 

The bill would require sites to disclose whether background checks are used and to give notice if someone is suspected of catfishing.

“If they identify a user and they know they’re in Utah, they can you know, send out a warning to all the people that this person’s been in contact with saying ‘hey, its a possibility that this person might not be who they say they are.”

Sites could be fined if they didn’t comply. 

Romero said there hasn’t been much pushback to the bill. But Romero said it died earlier this year after the Legislature ran out of time. 

Romero said her ultimate goal is preventing sexual assault and domestic violence as well as providing support for victims.

“We just want to make sure that these measures are in place. We’re not trying to control people or tell them what to do. But we’re just saying ‘hey,’ just like point out these red flags, so you’re not put in a compromising position.”

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Bill seeks to make dating apps safer for users