The owner of massive dating apps Tinder and Match comes from announced a new partnership to help ensure the safety of its users. Match Group, which owns Tinder, Match, OK Cupid, Hinge, and several other services, has invested in Garbo, a nonprofit background check platform founded by women. 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 “gender-based violence survivor” who wanted to make it easier to find information about people you might come into contact with online. Garbo’s platform aggregates multiple data sources to provide details about an individual, including “arrests, convictions, restraining orders, harassment, and other violent crimes.” The organization’s website says that often you don’t even need a last time to find details about a person – a first name and phone number will work.
The organization also works with racial and gender groups to ensure that inequalities in the justice system that disproportionately affect people of color are addressed. For example, Garbo recently announced that he was excluding drug possession charges from its platform. One of the reasons given is that the imprisonment rate of African Americans for drug trafficking is almost six times that of whites.
It remains to be seen how this integration will work, but it’s not hard to imagine that Tinder will be able to ping Garbo’s database and proactively show users when they find something they might want to be aware of. . It also seems likely that this information will be available in other Match Group applications at some point, although it is not yet known when that will happen. Garbo cites making ridesharing services safer as another grassroots initiative for the nonprofit in addition to working with dating services, so it wouldn’t surprise us to see a similar partnership emerge between Garbo. and companies like Uber or Lyft – but for now it’s starting with Tinder.