Even if you’re an online dating pro, meeting up with a stranger from the internet can be nerve-wracking — and even dangerous. It’s why you and your friends put on detective hats and dive deep into the internet to search for your match’s entire life history. But now that some dating apps plan to offer background checks, it could make the vetting process a little easier.
Match Group, the company that owns apps like Tinder and Hinge, just announced a partnership with Garbo, a background checking platform founded in 2018 by Kathryn Kosmides, a survivor of gender-based violence. The goal, according to a Match Group statement, is to help “proactively prevent gender-based violence by providing people with more transparency and information about whomever they connect with.”
Using nothing more than your potential date’s first name and phone number, Garbo can scour through public records for reports of violence or abuse, including arrests, convictions, restraining orders, harassment, and other violent crimes. The check won’t include arrests related to traffic violations or drug possession since those disproportionately impact marginalized communities.
"Before Garbo, abusers were able to hide behind expensive, hard-to-find public records and reports of their violence; now that's much harder," Kosmides said. "Being able to reach historically underserved populations is fundamental to Garbo's mission, and the partnership with Match will help us connect with these communities."