Tinder trials online dating identity verification

Tinder Trials Online Dating Identity Verification. Here’s How They Can Get It Right With Face Biometrics.

26 August 2021

We were very interested to see that Tinder will be introducing ID verification to its dating app. They’re aiming to make users feel safer and provide “more confidence that their matches are authentic”. 

iProov predicted this back in December 2020. Dating apps and websites are increasingly being targeted by fraudsters who use deceptive dating practices, such as catfishing, to steal money or cause embarrassment to victims. In 2020, record losses of $304m were attributed to romance scamsup 50% from 2019.  

So the reasons for more security are clear. But Tinder is famous for its swipe left/right simplicity. How can they, and other social networks, make the ID verification process as effortless as possible for users? 

iProov isn’t providing the technology for Tinder, but we know how online dating apps and social networks can achieve security with simplicity: Genuine Presence Assurance. With Genuine Presence Assurance, service providers can achieve security, usability, inclusivity, and privacy to make ID verification as strong and hassle-free as possible.

Why is identity verification needed on online dating platforms?

Scenario: A man sees he has a “match” on a dating app. They make introductions and exchange messages, eventually moving their conversation onto another messaging platform. The identity of the two individuals is not verified at any point during this process, beyond names and photos. 

After a few weeks, the match says that they’re struggling to make their rent payment and asks if they could borrow money until the first of the month. The man sends the money. He then never hears from the match againit was a fake profile,  created using pictures easily found on social media, and the story was fabricated. The man uninstalls the app.

This is just one of many ways in which people are vulnerable on dating apps. Other threats include predators and account hijackers. Some people have been scammed by accounts using celebrities’ photos, and one woman even encountered a deepfake video created to support a fake profile on a dating site. 

Tinder has realized that many of its users want some protection from these threats: they want to know who’s on the other side of the screen. Of course, ID verification can’t stop someone from transferring money to a scammer. But with the right identity verification solution, like iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance, you can enable users to take extra precautions against fake profiles. 

A number of things can be achieved using biometric face verification:

1. Accountability

Accountability is the most important thing that biometric face verification brings to an online dating platform or social network. If you have to use your real face and identity to register, it could discourage criminal or antisocial behavior because users understand that their actions can be linked back to them. 

Accountability helps with three types of users that people will want to avoid:

  1. Criminals: These are the users that specifically use the platform to target victims for fraud or other criminal purposes.
  2. Trolls: These people are using the platform to be abusive, or to cause offense or emotional distress to other users.
  3. Ordinary people that behave antisocially when there’s no accountability: These could be users that start out with a genuine interest in using the platform. But they send an inappropriate joke, which could escalate to abuse or trolling, or they make another user feel uncomfortable or threatened, which they would never do in real life. When people think there are no repercussions to their actions online, they may behave in an unacceptable way. This behavior can be discouraged by accountability.

2. Increased safety and security

Users can feel safer talking to or meeting with someone if their identity is verified. There have been many cases of predators using fake profiles, with the number of recorded sexual offenses involving online dating sites doubling over four years. Users are also less likely to be targeted by fraudsters or trolls. 

3. A better user experience 

Enabling users to be confident that they are talking to a verified, genuine person reduces the likelihood of someone wasting their time on the platform, leading to increased engagement and brand trust.

4. Defend brand reputation 

Online dating services and social networks have a responsibility to protect their users from harm, whether physical, emotional, or financial. 

For something as important as dating, which often leads to real-life meetings, you want to be sure that people are who they say they are online.

How can liveness help the online dating sector? 

Liveness detection enables online dating services to authenticate the identity of an online user. It uses a biometric face scan to verify that a remote individual is the right person and a real person. This process can help to defend against the creation of fake dating profiles, which can then be used for fraud, catfishing and trolling. Read more about iProov Liveness Assurance.

How can Genuine Presence Assurance ensure that online dating ID verification is secure, inclusive, and convenient? 

iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance delivers all the benefits of liveness detection – it provides greater accuracy that a user is the right person and a real person. It also verifies that the user is authenticating right now – this protects against the use of digital injected attacks that use deepfakes or other synthetic media

How does it work?

When a user onboards to an online dating app or social network, the service can ask the user to iProov. They verify their identity by scanning a trusted document, such as a driver’s license, and then scanning their face to confirm that they are the owner of that identity.

iProov Genuine Presence Assurance delivers four benefits:

  • Security: iProov verifies that the person is the right person, a real person, and that they are authenticating right now. 
  • Effortlessness: If it isn’t easy to use, people won’t use it. People love Tinder because of its simplicity – you simply swipe left or right. iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance is just as convenient to use: the user looks at their device, the device looks back.
  • Inclusive: It’s very important that social networks and online dating apps are as inclusive as possible. Otherwise, the companies could be accused of excluding sections of the population. iProov’s solution requires no reading and comprehending complex instructions – you simply look at your device’s user-facing camera. 
  • Privacy: iProov is respectful of user privacy. Face verification is very different to face recognition, which is often used in surveillance and other applications. With face verification, a user knows it is happening, they collaborate with it, they get a direct benefit from it and their privacy is respected.

The additional benefit of implementing Genuine Presence Assurance is that it can be used for ongoing authentication. Whenever users return to use the app again, they present their face and prove they are the right person, a real person, and that they are authenticating right now. This means that nobody else can ever access that account, or send messages, or carry out any activity that they then insist they had not done.

Identity verification for online dating: a summary

  • Online dating is vulnerable to various forms of fraud, crime, and identity manipulation such as catfishing and romance scams. So, it comes as no surprise that services such as Tinder are turning to identity verification.
  • Identity verification can help genuine users feel safe and secure while ensuring the authenticity of their matches. At the same time, it mitigates the risk of fake profiles and introduces accountability, ultimately dissuading fraudsters, criminals, and trolls from using the platform. 
  • However, identity verification needs to be done right. iProov’s biometric face verification is secure, convenient, inclusive, and respectful of user privacy. 

If you’d like to know how iProov technology could secure and streamline identity verification for your online dating app or other social network, book your iProov demo here today.

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