A House subcommittee is investigating popular dating services such as Tinder and Bumble, which allegedly allow minors and sex offenders to use their services. Bumble, Grindr, The Meet Group and Match Group, which own popular services such as Tinder, Match.com and OkCupid, are the target of a current House Oversight and Reform Group investigation into economic and consumer policy.
In a letter to the company on Thursday, the subcommittee is seeking information about the user’s age, age verification procedures and any complaints about the beating, sexual assault or use of services by minors. It also requires privacy policies for the service, as well as details of what users see when viewing and agreeing to these policies, and also seeks information about the data collected about people, including sexual orientation, drug use and political opinions.
Although the minimum age for using Internet services in the United States is usually 13 years, dating services typically require users to be at least 18 years old because of concerns about sexual predators.
“It is reported that many popular free dating apps allow registered sex offenders to use them, while the paid version sympathisers of these apps block registered sex offenders, adding to our concerns about the use of dating apps for minors,” said Representative Raja of Illinois The democratic party, the head of the Krishnamoorthi subcommittee, said in a statement. “Protective predators should not be limited to paying customers. ”
Match Group said it uses “all possible tools” to prevent minors and bad actors from leaving its services and continues to develop technology to ensure user safety. The company said in an emailed statement that the problem was broader and asked other parties, including the app store, which knows the user’s identity, to “do their part.”
Match added that the national sex offender registry needs to be updated so that the digital footprint of offenders can be tracked and blocked through social media and dating services.
Grindr and MeetThe Group did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday, and Bumble did not immediately comment.
In addition to security issues, the investigation also attempts to resolve the issue of service request matching data. This information may include sexual orientation, gender identity, political views, and drug, alcohol and tobacco use.
The subcommittee cited a report this month by the Norwegian consumer group that found that dating apps including Grindr, OkCupid and Tinder may have violated European data privacy laws by leaking personal information to advertising technology companies. The Norwegian Consumer Council said it had found “serious privacy breaches” in its analysis of how shady online advertising companies tracked and described smartphone users.
In response to the report, Match said it would only share information with third parties if it “deemed it necessary to use third-party applications to run its platform.” The company said it believed the practice was in compliance with all European and U.S. regulations.