Dating apps need stricter age limits

In a world in which most people have either heard of or tried an online dating service or app, it is important to consider user safety and security policies, especially for minors. Dating services are now under scrutiny by the U.K. government after police looked at more than 30 cases of child rape since 2015 related to the apps. Sixty other cases of different sexual offenses done to children were also investigated, as reported by The Guardian.

Popular dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble and Grindr are meant to be for people ages 18 and over, yet many minors are still able to make accounts without much trouble. Online predators that target underage people do exist, but minors have also been lied to about their age, with their profiles showing that they are older than they really are.

Certain apps choose to either allow people to take a photo of themselves to prove who they really are or connect with a Facebook account in order to be verified. However, this does not weed out minors, who may have a fake age set on their Facebook accounts and who may look older than they really are.

The best way to verify one’s identity and age is if these apps asked for users to upload a driver’s license or government ID to the app, which would have their name and date of birth on them. Since so much of these sites are about strangers meeting strangers, some simple background checks should be done as well to ensure the safety of all.