The owner of massive dating apps Tinder and Match has just announced a new partnership to help keep its users safe. Match Group, which owns Tinder, Match, OK Cupid, Hinge and several other services, has made an investment in Garbo, a non-profit, female-founded background check platform. As part of the deal, Garbo’s platform will be available to people using Match Group apps, starting with Tinder later this year.
If you’re not familiar with Garbo, it was founded by Kathryn Kosmides, a “survivor of gender-based violence” who wanted to make it easier to find information about people you may connect with online. Garbo’s platform aggregates numerous data sources to provide details on an individual, including “arrests, convictions, restraining orders, harassment, and other violent crimes.” The organization’s site says that often times, you don’t even need a last time to find some details on an individual — a first name and phone number will work.
The organization is also working with racial and gender equality groups to make sure that inequities in the justice system that disproportionately affect people of color are taken into account. For example, Garbo recently announced that it was excluding drug possession charges from its platform. One of the reasons it gave was that the imprisonment rate for African Americans on drug charges is almost six times that for white people.
How this integration will work remains to be seen, but it’s not hard to imagine that Tinder will be able to ping Garbo’s database and proactively show users when it finds something they might want to be aware of. It also seems likely that this information will be available in other Match Group apps at some point, though there’s no word yet on when that’ll happen. Garbo cites making ridesharing services safer as another core initiative for the non-profit in addition to working with dating services, so it wouldn’t surprise us to see a similar partnership appear between Garbo and companies like Uber or Lyft — but for now, it’s starting with Tinder.