Dating apps ‘on alert’ as government demands red flag features

Rowland said she will be speaking with federal, state and territory attorneys general to review criminal justice responses and that the government will investigate law enforcement, privacy and data issues before deciding to allow disclosures of users with criminal backgrounds force.

Australia’s eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant – who will work with Rowland’s department to collect data from the apps and identify key gaps – said no online dating companies meet all of Australia’s online safety standards.

She said apps should make better use of their artificial intelligence abilities to scan speech and then nudge users when they’re doing something harmful or emit warning signals when they detect a user might be in danger.

Inman Grant will be writing to companies within the next two months to request details of how many people using their apps are committing abuses, including sexual assault, sexual harassment and sending explicit images without consent. She also wants data on the effectiveness of her prevention tools and her plans to eliminate repeat offenders.

“[The apps] don’t want to share absolute numbers. You may not be looking [that] Information, because what they don’t know, they don’t need to address,” she said. Because of the cost, there was also a disincentive to improve user empowerment tools.

“We need to change the incentives around protecting profits to actually protect people… If I don’t get full transparency, I have legal coercive powers that I used against the big big platforms that I can use again,” said she said.


Social Services Secretary Amanda Rishworth said the apps should also promote education about respect for women and consent, a move welcomed by Chanel Contos, founder of Teach Us Consent, who said companies had the Responsibility to invest in public education.

A spokeswoman for Match Group – the multibillion-dollar company that owns Tinder, Hinge, and OkCupid – said it released a new dating safety guide for an Australian context this week.

“We remain focused on creating security in everything we do, from leveraging technology, investing in moderation and machine learning tools, partnering with leading security experts and developing innovative in-app security features,” she said. “We will continue to work with local officials to maintain and enhance our safety efforts.”

A Bumble spokeswoman said they introduced some security features, such as B. An artificial intelligence tool that blurs lewd images and in-app calls that prevented users from sharing personal phone numbers.

“We know that domestic and sexual violence is a huge problem not just in Australia but around the world and that women, members of LGBQTIA+ communities and First Nations are most at risk,” she said.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to trust and safety across our community and continue to help educate our members on how to stay safe on and off our platform.”

If you or someone you know needs support, you can contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counseling Service at 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732). Dating apps ‘on alert’ as government demands red flag features

Callan Tansill

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