Online dating services need a safety revamp, says Valadao

U.S. Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) on Sept. 21 sponsored legislation that would improve the safety of online dating services.

“While more and more people are using online dating services, recent stories like the Tinder Swindler have brought to light the number of bad actors who abuse these platforms to commit fraud,” said Rep. Valadao, referring to a Netflix true-crime documentary about a convicted fraudster who posed as a wealthy, jet-setting diamond mogul to woo women online and then con them out of millions of dollars. 

Rep. Valadao proposed the Online Dating Safety Act of 2022, H.R. 8946, to require online dating service providers to provide safety awareness and fraud ban notifications to online dating service members and to verify the identity of online dating service members, according to the congressional record bill summary.

“It is alarmingly easy for predators online to manipulate innocent people,” the congressman said, “and the Online Dating Safety Act is an important step to help people make informed decisions about who they’re really talking to online.”

Specifically, H.R. 8946 would require dating services to provide safety guidelines on their platforms; to notify members who have communicated with someone who has since been removed from dating platforms for violating the service’s safety policies; and to verify the identification of new users with a government-issued ID, according to a bill summary provided by Rep. Valadao’s office.

The measure has been referred for consideration to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee.