FTC Warns 3 Dating Apps for Violating Child Safety Laws

Three dating apps have been removed from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for reportedly violating child protection laws, following a written warning from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

FastMeet, Meet24 and Meet4U, all owned by Ukraine-based developer Wildec, have been accused of not enforcing age verification checks.

A section in each of the apps’ terms of use states that children under the age of 13 are not allowed to create an account. However, any user that says their age is 13 or under is not prevented in any way from accessing the apps and their features.

FTC representatives tested one of the apps and found that they could search for users by age and were able to locate children as young as 12 in the surrounding area.

A spokesperson for Wildec told Forbes: “Registration in several versions of our apps allowed access for minors under 18 years-old. We immediately reacted [to the] FTC requirements and fixed all the issues, including removing all data from underage accounts.

“Registration is not possible anymore. At the moment we [have] fulfilled all [the] FTC requirements and recommendations and hope to get our apps back into the stores soon.”

A member of British Parliament called on dating apps to implement tougher verification checks after 30 cases of child rape were connected to online dating in 2015.

The story appeared on the front cover of the Sunday Times, and documented incidents including children as young as eight.

Read more here.