Dating app background checks flagged to fight abuse | SBS News


A meeting has been held between dating app companies, the police and government representatives. It was described as “an important first step” in increasing online protections. Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said background checks were discussed. People looking for love online may soon need background checks as the federal government looks into ways to crack down on technology-enabled sexual violence.A meeting on Wednesday between dating app companies, government representatives and the police has been described as “an important first step” in increasing online protections.Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said there was discussion about the need for background checks for users of dating apps.But he warned that law and policy changes could not be made overnight or without proper consultation.“None of us underestimate the complex issues surrounding privacy, user security, data collection and management … there is no law that will solve this problem,” Ms Rowland told reporters in Sydney.

“Many cases of abuse are perpetrated by people with no criminal record or convictions at all…which is why the debate also focused on what could be done to encourage respectful interactions online.”

Woman using dating app on phone Source: Getty / iStockphoto

Following the meeting, federal, state and territory attorneys-general will be asked to consider criminal justice responses to online violence and abuse as a matter of priority.Dating app companies were also put on notice and Ms Rowland said there was room for improvement in how user complaints were handled.“We need the industry to improve their action, their transparency and their accountability in how they respond to consumer complaints,” he said.Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth, who attended the meeting, said there was “no silver bullet” to solve sexual violence.While people with lived experience must have a voice in reform, Ms Rishworth said they should not be solely responsible for their safety.“There needs to be a proactive response, where perpetrators and perpetrators of abuse are held accountable,” Rishworth said.“That it is their behavior that is being addressed and punished, not the focus on the survivors of the victims.”Sexual violence includes online abuse, such as revenge porn, sexual harassment, abusive language, threats, and controlling behavior.Cybersecurity Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said dating apps needed to take more responsibility in cracking down were subjected to sexual violence by someone they met on a dating app, including sexual assault or coercion and revenge porn.A woman dies at the hands of her partner .
Julie Inman Grant

Cybersecurity Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said dating apps needed to take more responsibility for cracking down on bad behaviour. Source: AAP / MICK TSIKAS

Opposition Deputy Leader Sussan Ley said technology could be a power for good and many people were happy after meeting partners online, but there were too many horror stories of women using dating apps.Dating app Bumble Australia and Tinder’s parent company Match Group welcomed the opportunity to discuss online dating safety measures with policymakers.“We know that domestic and sexual violence is not only a huge problem in Australia, but around the world, and that women, members of the LGBQTIA+ communities and First Nations are most at risk,” said a Bumble Australia spokesperson.The company already bans abusers and harassers from the platform, including taking action against members for unacceptable behavior on other dating apps.A spokesman for Match Group said the safety of its members was paramount.“We stay focused on building security in everything we do, from leveraging technology to investing in moderation tools and machine learning to partnering with leading security experts and building innovative in-app security features “, said.If you or someone you know is affected by sexual assault, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit . In an emergency, call 000.

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